A study on female entrepreneurship in Africa by the University of La Laguna is presented at our headquarters.

Last Friday, March 15, the presentation of an analysis of the variables and factors that influence the entrepreneurial intentions of African women was held at our headquarters. The study was led by Dr. Carmen Inés Ruíz de la Rosa, professor and researcher at the University of La Laguna. The foundation provided the doctor with a rich database of beneficiaries of our Learn Africa scholarship program, thanks to which women African students who already have a degree from an African university benefit from a scholarship to study at one of the Spanish universities from our network. A total of 314 responses were received from female scholarship recipients, most of them between the ages of 25 and 34 and from a total of 37 countries.

Fifty-one percent of the women who responded to the survey expressed a willingness to become entrepreneurs in their countries. Women’s entrepreneurship in many regions of Africa is higher than that of men. However, women face a number of obstacles that affect the full development of their entrepreneurial potential. The specific objectives of this study included analyzing the variables that affect the intention to launch an entrepreneurial project, studying the ecosystem factors that affect the development of entrepreneurial projects, identifying the events that influence, positively or negatively, the creation of a company and, finally, analyzing the implication of a mindset favorable to a new start. The study also suggests methods to promote women-led entrepreneurship in Africa such as providing specialized training and creating collaborative spaces for women-led projects, as well as improving the institutional context to facilitate both opportunities and financial resources.

After the presentation of the conclusions of the analysis, a debate was opened and moderated by our program coordinator, Ainhoa Marín Egoscozábal. María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, president of Women for Africa; Teresa Langle de Paz, director of Women for Africa; Beatrice Grace Aluoch Obado, political scientist specializing in International Relations and Sustainable Development and associate professor at IE, as well as Professor Carmen Inés Ruíz de la Rosa, participated in the round table.

During the meeting, emphasis was placed on how women lead the informal sector on the African continent, but Professor Obado believes that we should rethink the very definition of the concept and gave as an example Benin’s trade relationship with Nigeria. “That cross-border relationship represents 75% of the country’s GDP and is mostly conducted by women. Can we define this as informal?” the Kenyan political scientist wondered. For her part, Dr. Ruíz de la Rosa stressed the importance of entrepreneurship with values to carry out high-impact projects, and Professor Obado highlighted the multiplier effect of women entrepreneurs in Africa. Other issues that arose during the debate included the role of international cooperation, the recovery of pre-colonial institutions, the weight of tradition and culture, as well as the role of men in promoting women’s leadership.

Analyses such as the one carried out by Dr. Ruíz de la Rosa essential, since the development of entrepreneurship projects has become extremely important on the African continent due to their direct impact on the generation of employment and their fundamental role as an engine of economic growth. Supporting this type of study, as well as disseminating its results, is a priority for the Women for Africa Foundation, as it helps us to continue improving our education and economic entrepreneurship programs.

The study will soon be available on our website. You can also consult it here.

Become our friend