Starting and owning businesses by men has been the order of the day from time immemorial. The ground has not been level for African women to enter into business. The main drawback is some bad aspects of African culture that always prepare a female child for marriage than any other opportunities in life that include being employed or becoming own businesswoman.
In an African setup, a woman is not empowered in aspects like acquisition of assets and even wealth. Livestock like cattle and land are a measure of African wealth. In the home, livestock and land are usually reserved for a male child leaving a female child to depend later on livestock or land of her husband, that is, if she gets married.
In Africa, more men are employed than women. This usually disadvantages the woman even if she thinks over starting own business. Automatically, men have greater chances of becoming entrepreneurs.
But some women are breaking the barriers of bad aspects African culture. Currently, the number of women who are starting and owning businesses is increasing so much. A lot of them are success stories.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have become the backbone of many economies across the globe. Women have since dominated this form of entrepreneurship. In my region of Southern Africa many small shops, flea markets and eating outlets are owned by women.
From my analysis, most of those that own the aforesaid types of businesses were motivated to do so due to economic pressures in order to support their families. A few entered into entrepreneurship out of personal desire of the type of business they are undertaking. Either forced or voluntarily, the key issue remains that African women are curving a niche in entrepreneurship.
The two categories of businesswoman end up attaining more knowledge on how to keep their heads above the water in their type of business. They answer consumer needs and improve overall economic efficiency.
In essence, the African woman entrepreneurs involved in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have managed to create jobs for themselves and that of their workers. They contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of their countries regardless of how small their contribution might be.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are complimenting what major companies are contributing. In some countries, major companies are not performing well, so the need for SMEs.
Women entrepreneurs are a special segment of African economies. It is left to the females to motivate themselves to start their own small business for the betterment of their lives and improvement of African economies.