Summarizing the Key Characteristics, Enabling Environment and Needs of Women-Owned Businesses – MEDA (2020)

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MEDA, 2020 – 24 pages

This report outlines the key characteristics, influencing the environment, and needs of Women-Owned Businesses (WBEs) to support investors and business service providers in Africa to adopt a gender lens within their current practices and policies. This paper starts with a review summarizing the characteristics of WBEs and their enabling environment. It also describes key findings from the primary field research conducted on technical assistance and business support; financial support; and gender-specific considerations. Communalities found across WBEs:

  • Limited access to resources including collateral and other sources of financing.
  • Slow to moderate business growth orientation.
  • Limited knowledge of financing options and financial management.
  • If married and/or have children, added pressure of requiring spousal support and balancing childcare.
  • Low self-confidence to grow their business and seek investment support.
  • Risk-averse to investment and fast growth.
  • Underestimate performance.
  • Childcare & community responsibilities.