However, only about 18.8% of small and medium enterprise (SME) owners in South Africa are women. This is according to the recent MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, which reveals that women remain grossly under-represented among the ranks of entrepreneurs.
Speaking in light of the UN Commission on the Status of Women that is under way in New York, Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year competition sponsored by Sanlam and business/partners, said that despite female involvement in the SME sector being a known key contributor to economic growth, as well as job creation in South Africa, many women still face major barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
“There is no question that women entrepreneurs play an increasingly important role in driving South Africa forward - both socially and economically.
“Many of the country’s aspiring female entrepreneurs, however, remain constrained by cultural, social and economic barriers. Female entrepreneurs signify a vast untapped source of innovation, job creation and economic growth in South Africa.”