Why SA should have more women entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs who want to be household managers have a wide range of skills, including the ability to manage budgets, facilities and logistics, schedules, staff, and time. Linda McClure, Raizcorp’s chief operations officer, says that managing a family is similar to managing a small company.

If you strike a woman, then you strike the rock. These words are a constant reminder of my childhood. These words come from the famous resistance song, which was sung by South African ladies during the 1956 march to abolish the passed laws.

In my opinion, these words are a true reflection of the innate strength and courage of women – particularly black African women.

While men can start businesses for many reasons, women tend to start informal businesses out of necessity. It’s survivalist trading at its finest. South African women are traditionally seen as mothers and wives. However, they also display tremendous resilience and perseverance, especially if they have children.

There is often a subconscious belief that the women will take care of the children even in two-parent households. Often, the oldest child is the quasi-mother or childminder in many families, especially those that live in remote locations.

Business and household management

My belief is that household managers can equip women entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to manage budgets, facilities and logistics. Actually, managing a household can be like managing a small business.

Research shows that 38% of South African entrepreneurs are women, despite this huge potential. This is very concerning. The 2018 GEM report shows that our closest neighbours Angola, Madagascar and Madagascar have an almost equal entrepreneurship rate between women and men. This is a serious problem. Because small businesses hold the key to turning around South Africa’s economy and unemployment, we need to encourage more women to take the leap and start their own businesses.

It is equally important to offer entrepreneurial education to small business owners so they are able to manage and grow profitable businesses that can create jobs.

Even people who have degrees and diplomas are highly educated, they are not familiar with business basics and lack the skills and knowledge required to start a business.

As committed educators of entrepreneurs, Raizcorp is extremely proud of some of the inspiring female success stories to have come out of our programmes over the years, including our Engen Pitch & Polish workshop and competition initiative.

These remarkable women entrepreneurs are creating more jobs and sustaining their livelihoods in a difficult economic environment. Each and every one of these women entrepreneurs deserves my admiration for their determination, drive and dedication.

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