Self-employed women and the struggle for funding

South African women are increasingly contributing a larger percentage of taxable income every year.

Why is it then that the number of self-employed women in South Africa is dropping, according to Absa SME Index for the second quarter of 2014?

(Also read our article: The state of entrepreneurship in South Africa)

The study indicates that the number of self-employed men has increased by 8.2% since 2008 while over 150,000 women have left self-employment in order to either take up employment, unpaid care or domestic work over the past six years.

CapeTalk presenter Africa Melane had a panel discussion on the obstacles facing women entrepreneurs in South Africa.

The following female professionals participated in the discussion:

  • Happy Ralinala: Head of ABSA Business Banking South Africa

  • Candice Pillay: Partner and Head of Pro Bono at Hogan Lovells

  • Michelle Dubois: Legal Marketing Consultant at Liberty Retail

According to Happy Ralinala, although South African women now make up 37% of all entrepreneurs, women role models in the business sector are often invisiblised because South African industries have not created an environment that is female friendly.

Ralinala advises that there are three pillars needed for entrepreneurs in the country:

1. Access to funding.
2. Access to the market.
3. Non-financial support.

Pillay says that red tape and the legal framework have also been considered as a deterrent to female entrepreneurs.

Listen to the full conversation, with Africa Melane standing in, on The Redi Tlhabi Show:


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