The rate of female entrepreneurship remains low in Africa. Access to bank loans to create or run a business is a fighting course in Senegal. Sylvie Sagbo Gommard, deputy director of SENAR Délices Lysa, a small family business that sells peanuts and cashew nuts, talks about the difficulties she faces in securing financing.
“I tried two years in succession to have credit to buy cashew nuts, I could not. I did not give up [looking for bank credit], but I am rather on a different path, which is not necessarily to rely on the bank. Because today, banks in Africa do not help SMEs especially because we are too small for them. Quite a [double penalty], woman and SMEs, it is surely not easy, but today we see that many women get there. I think confidence comes back.”
In Morocco, the rate of women’s entrepreneurship is increasing slowly despite some progress with the adoption in 2004 of a family code devoting a certain gender equality. According to Saloua Karkri-Belkeziz, honorary president and founder of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Morocco. “The rate of female entrepreneurship is still fairly low, as it is still below 20%, while the enrollment rate has increased considerably and that virtually in universities there are even more than 50% of young girls. Since we created AFEM in 2000, the aim has been to encourage women’s entrepreneurship, but also to involve women in the economic reforms launched in the year 2000. “
According to Patience Barandenge, head of the Women Entrepreneurs’ Market at the Rawbank of Congo-Kinshasa, “women themselves want to be limited in the service sector. They want to stay in microfinance. They must dare and take the risk. The other constraint is that they do not keep reliable financial statements. There is also the problem of the informal side of their activity: they prefer to stay in the informal to avoid paying taxes. But we, even those who are in the informal, are encouraging them to go formal. “
One of the themes of the second edition of the Journées de la francophonie économique et numérique held on Thursday 14 September in Paris at the headquarters of La Francophonie is “What strategies and advocacy for effective support for women’s entrepreneurship?
Photo 1: Patience Barandenge, head of the Women Entrepreneurs’ Market at the Rawbank of Congo-Kinshasa
Photo 2 RFI: The exhibition of products during the second edition of the Journées de la francophonie economique et numérique on Thursday, September 14, 2017 in Paris.