WHY SA WOMEN DON’T START THEIR OWN BUSINESSES

A survey taken by Livingfact showed that over 50 percent of South African women feel like working at a corporate job is a much safer route than investing in their own business.

Roughly 20 percent of the women that don’t own their own businesses feel that they are able to currently fulfill their family responsibilities.

They find that working a corporate job ensures financial stability and valid security. These very reasons are what may hold back the women of South Africa from starting a business of their own.

What the young women of South Africa need are role models. What ends up happening is that they work for an employer most of their lives without being able to look up to an aspirational figure.

The chances are that seeing strong females leading companies would inspire them more to take up such practices too. Women grow up with a lack of a role model to look up to. Only 14 percent of women taking part in the survey reported that they had a role model or mentor to look up to in their life.

Joanne van der Walt, the manager of the Sage Foundation program for Africa, suggests some great ideas. He explains that exposing women to the “possibilities and the benefits of having their own businesses at home, in their communities and schools, and in the media” would help them become more confident in taking up the risks of starting one.

The survey also showed that female entrepreneurs are generally more open to take risks than women who have not tried to start their own business. Research specifically showed that only 26 percent of women who had never attempted to start their own business were willing to take risks compared to the 43 percent who already had their own business.

As startups are on the rise across Africa, there should be a greater encouragement of women to express their creativity and join the ranks. The economy of Africa is growing, now is good time to seize the opportunity.

Written by: Brian Clubb

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