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South Africa has one of the highest rates of early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the world.

South Africa has a growing community of female entrepreneurs who are making a significant impact on the country's economy. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, South Africa has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in the world, with women making up over 40% of all entrepreneurs in the country.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is an annual survey that measures entrepreneurship activity and attitudes around the world. Here are some facts and figures about entrepreneurship in South Africa based on the GEM report:

  1. South Africa has one of the highest rates of early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the world, with 12.6% of adults involved in starting or running a new business.

  2. The rate of female entrepreneurship in South Africa is higher than the global average, with women making up 42.6% of all entrepreneurs.

  3. The majority of entrepreneurs in South Africa are driven by opportunity rather than necessity, with 64% of entrepreneurs starting a business because they saw an opportunity rather than because they had no other options.

  4. The most common reason for starting a business in South Africa is to pursue a passion or interest, with 36% of entrepreneurs citing this as their main motivation.

  5. The GEM report also notes that access to finance is a major barrier to entrepreneurship in South Africa, with only 7.2% of entrepreneurs reporting that they received funding from a bank or other financial institution.

  6. South Africa has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in the world, with women making up over 40% of all entrepreneurs in the country.

  7. Finally, the report found that South Africa has a relatively high rate of discontinuation of new businesses, with 43% of businesses discontinuing within the first 42 months of operation.

According to the GEM 2020 report, the rate of female entrepreneurship in South Africa had increased slightly from 38.4% in 2019 to 42.6% in 2020. This increase was driven in part by an increase in the number of women entrepreneurs who saw opportunities to start a business.

However, the report also highlighted ongoing challenges for women entrepreneurs in South Africa, including limited access to finance and a lack of support and mentorship. Only 18.2% of women entrepreneurs reported receiving external financing for their business, compared to 25.6% of male entrepreneurs. Additionally, women entrepreneurs were less likely than men to have access to a mentor or advisor who could provide guidance and support.

Overall, while there were some positive developments for women entrepreneurs in South Africa between the GEM 2019 and GEM 2020 reports, there is still much work to be done to address the barriers and challenges faced by women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

South Africa has a vibrant community of women entrepreneurs who are making significant contributions to the country's economy. Here are some notable examples:

  1. Wendy Luhabe - Wendy Luhabe is a well-known social entrepreneur who has been instrumental in promoting economic empowerment and gender equality in South Africa. She has founded several successful businesses, including Women Investment Portfolio Holdings, which invests in women-owned businesses.

  2. Basetsana Kumalo - Basetsana Kumalo is a media entrepreneur and former Miss South Africa who has built a successful media empire. She is the founder of Tswelopele Productions, which produces a range of TV shows and documentaries.

  3. Lynette Magasa - Lynette Magasa is the founder of Boniswa Corporate Solutions, a successful business consultancy that provides a range of services to large corporations and government departments.

  4. Matsi Modise - Matsi Modise is the founder of Furaha Afrika Holdings, a company that invests in and supports small businesses. She is also the former CEO of SiMODiSA, a startup accelerator that supports emerging entrepreneurs.

  5. Portia Mngomezulu - Portia Mngomezulu is the co-founder of JobCrystal, an online job portal that connects job seekers with employers. She is also a board member of the South African Women Entrepreneurs Network.

  6. Magda Wierzycka: Magda is the CEO of Sygnia, a financial services company that she founded in 2006. Under her leadership, Sygnia has become one of the most successful asset management companies in South Africa.

  7. Lindiwe Matlali: Lindiwe is the founder of Africa Teen Geeks, a non-profit organization that teaches children in South Africa how to code. She has won several awards for her work, including the 2019 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

  8. Ntombenhle Khathwane: Ntombenhle is the founder of Afro Botanics, a natural hair and skincare brand that has become hugely popular in South Africa. She started the company with just R1000 and has grown it into a multimillion-rand business.

  9. Janine Allis: Janine is the founder of Boost Juice Bars, a global chain of juice and smoothie bars. She started the company in Australia and has since expanded it to over 500 stores in 18 countries, including South Africa.

These women are just a few examples of the many talented and successful women entrepreneurs in South Africa. Their contributions to the economy and society are inspiring and help to create a more inclusive and equitable business environment for all. Curator Munllonch

Pic by Estelle Umaes

Source :

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2020

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2021

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