126 million women running new businesses across 67 economies: report

126 million women running new businesses across 67 economies: report

Many women across the world have taken the bull by its horns and are redirecting their destiny in the business environment – a space still ruled with iron-fist by male egos.

The 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Women’s Report’s ‘unexpected’ revelation that an estimated 126 million women were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies around the world, and an estimated 98 million were running established businesses, is a living proof that the roles seem to be reversing in this competitive but highly discriminatory space.

Across the regions, Sub-Saharan Africa exhibits the highest average intentions, with 52% of women possessing the intension to start a business in the next three years, South Africa’s Business Partners Limited said this week.

Business Partners Limited’s Gugu Mjadu said when it comes to established business activity, South Africa has equal percentages of women and men running established businesses.

“Other than five economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and three from different regions, in all other economies there are fewer women than men at this business stage,” she said.

The growth of female entrepreneurship is very positive for the South African economy, Mjadu added.

“Not only are these women creating jobs for themselves and providing for their families, they are employing various other South Africans, who are then able to provide for their families,” she explained.

“The continued female involvement in the SME sector is a key contributor to economic growth, as well as job creation in South Africa.”

Business Partners Limited said their client book has 38.9% of female clients, while over the past financial year 41.2% of disbursements were invested in female businesses.

The distribution of disbursements made to female businesses has also remained constant, averaging at 40.5% over the past three financial years, the company said.

“As a company we remain committed to empowering female entrepreneurs, and this is evidenced by our statistics. For instance, while only 24.5% of finance applications received by Business Partners Limited in the last financial year were submitted by female businesses, they accounted for 35.9% of all applications approved.”

Business Partners Limited reveals that of these female businesses, 37.1% are run by black individuals.

Photo: courtesy of Professional & Business Women (PBW)

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