Uneasy Path Women Toe To Succeed In Business
November 26, 2022
Survival of businesses is not as easy as it seems, for women it takes extra effort. A new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has revealed what it takes for women-led businesses to thrive in these difficult times.
It tells the stories of 21 women from developing countries who have overcome countless challenges to build successful businesses and have been trained by UNCTAD’s flagship capacity-building programme, Empretec .
“I hope the stories of these 21 Empretec program champions and the resourcefulness and resilience they demonstrate in the midst of crises will inspire other women and girls looking for role models and leaders. hope in these turbulent times,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan.
Empretec has trained more than half a million entrepreneurs from developing countries since 1988. The program currently has 41 national business support centers around the world, with 40 international master trainers and 600 certified local trainers.
Overcoming gender stereotypes is one of the major hurdles. The soft skills typical of successful entrepreneurs are key to growing businesses and steering them in new directions, the report said.
Mozambican Uneiza Ali Issufo runs a construction company she founded to thrive in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Issufo, who founded ConsMoz, a dynamic construction company in Mozambique, said she overcame gender stereotypes by breaking into a male-dominated industry.
“If you want to change the world, you have to change yourself first,” she said.
Family support is also important when women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
Joyce Kyalema from Uganda owes her success to her father who provided her with a quality education.
She started a pumpkin processing business named JOSMAK International from scratch, while helping rural women feed their families and increase their income.
Driven by social responsibility, while growing their businesses, these women entrepreneurs have to keep communities close to their hearts.
Rosana Marques, founder of Ouseuse, a lingerie company based in the Brazilian city of Juruaia, wanted to start a business that would serve the community and create jobs.
Starting out in 1994 as a two-person business, it has grown exponentially and helped propel Juruaia into a lingerie capital, with many local women in its workforce.
Indian biochemist Kayan Motashaw, feeling worried about the issue of food security, ventured into the agri-food sector.
Her company LivRite Foods trains farmers to improve their beekeeping techniques and earn income year-round.
Women must support each other. Having entrepreneurship in her DNA, Angelica Magdallen Rumsey, from Zambia, started ‘Angel Bites’, a takeaway food preparation and delivery business that she later turned into a general store that sells local produce.
Having overcome gender bias to succeed, she is determined to pass on her knowledge to train young female entrepreneurs.
Fatou Gaye, who established the Gaye Njorro Skills Academy in The Gambia, also supports young female entrepreneurs.
“If a woman receives support, a nation is built. Because one woman will support another and so on,” Ms Gaye said.
However, analysts believe that the world needs more female entrepreneurs. Despite some progress, the presence and weight of women in the business world remain limited.
UNCTAD ‘s latest estimates showed that between 2010 and 2019, 68% of businesses globally had no female owners, while only 16% were owned by women.
Estimates show that such under-representation could harm economic growth and decent jobs. Lost income due to women’s inactivity in business can reach up to 30% of GDP in countries where gender gaps are greater, it stated.
UNCTAD had launched a publication entitled “ Women in Business, building purpose-driven enterprises amid crises ” to celebrate female entrepreneurship.