Tech startups are mobilizing support for female entrepreneurs and is providing them with a platform to grow their business and support their aspirations which is a necessary factor in improving livelihoods and transforming the global economy.
A Boston Consulting Group study concluded that if female entrepreneurs received as much support as their male counterparts the global economy could experience a boost of $5-trillion.
However, the sobering reality is that not enough is being done to enable female start-ups to thrive. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) 2020 Gender Gap Report women’s economic empowerment is actually worsening, estimating that closing the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity is now 257 years away. This is 55 years longer than what was reported in 2019.
Africa is the only region globally where more women choose to become entrepreneurs than men. However, despite this startling statistic, nowhere near enough is being done to support these women, who are determined to establish successful companies.
Many face significant obstacles and structural inequalities, with more than half of female entrepreneurs citing a lack of financing and limited access to technology in preventing them to scale their businesses. Small businesses already have a hard time securing financing, but this funding gap is more pronounced regarding female entrepreneurs. The African Development Bank estimates a $42bn funding gap for women entrepreneurs across the African continent.
This gap exists at various levels of entrepreneurial funding — including bank loans, angel investment, venture capital and private equity — despite there being more female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa than men.