According to Allan Gray Orbis Foundation's data, currently only 19.4% of business owners in SA are women. Picture: PEXELS/RFSTUDIO
According to Allan Gray Orbis Foundation's data, currently only 19.4% of business owners in SA are women. Picture: PEXELS/RFSTUDIO

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we talk about the progress, or lack thereof, of women-led businesses in SA.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Nontando Mthethwa, head of public affairs and communications at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

Thefoundation invests in the growth of business owners in SA through a range of programmes, encompassing mentorship, academic curricula and fundraising, among others. 

Mthethwa says a lot of progress has been made to get more women into entrepreneurship over the decades. However, more work still needs to be done to create an equitable playing field that ultimately grows the economy.

According to Allan Gray's data, currently only 19.4% of business owners in SA are women.

Join the discussion: 

Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Mthethwa says the traditional role of women is still a challenge, according to the foundation's studies. The views held by society on the traditional roles of women impact negatively on entrepreneurial endeavours.  Capacity constraints due to juggling domestic responsibilities with little or no support, was identified as a key barrier to entrepreneurship. This is in addition to gender discrimination encountered by women in accessing financial markets.

Topics of discussion include: the work of the foundation, has any progress been made in getting more women into entrepreneurship in SA, statistics on the rate of female business owners in SA, the contribution of women to the formal and informal economy, challenges faced by this group , and ways that hurdles can be overcome.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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