SMEs owned by women are more profitable

By on August 12, 2014

South African small businesses owned by women have a better chance of being profitable than those run by men, according to a recently conducted survey by World Wide Worx.

In light of celebrating National Women’s Day on August 9th as well as the month of August as Women’s Month, World Wide Worx conducted The 2014 Small Medium Enterprises (SME) Survey, which revealed that 78 percent of female-run SMEs are profitable, where as only 70 percent of SME’s run by South African men are profitable.

Krysia Gaweda spoke to Marketing Head: Sanlam Business Market, and spokesperson of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition Kobus Engelbrecht, to find out why SME’s are still majority owned by South African men and how we can promote female entrepreneurship.

Explaining how there is nothing strange about men dominating all sectors of the economy owing to historical reasons, Engelbrecht continued to say how in history, it was men who were seen as the main providers and thus dominated majority of business sectors.

Engelbrecht further explains how now in its 26th year, they have finally noticed a steady increase in female-owned businesses, which is extremely encouraging in the realms of the business world.

He highlights that female entrepreneurial activity creates growth and prosperity, and solutions for social problems, which is one of South Africa’s major issues.

“Women entrepreneurs are a driving force in today’s modern economy. They shape and redefine the workplace, business networks, financial institutions and culture, but a concerted effort should be made to create and foster an environment to further develop female entrepreneurs and establish entrepreneurship as a favourable career path amongst South African youth, especially young females”, Engelbrecht emphasises.

Ultimately, the increase of female entrepreneurs entering the competition is an encouraging sign and a fair reflection of the economy as it shows that times are changing, and that more and more women are now entering into the entrepreneurial world, which was once male dominated.

When asked what unique challenges women may face as entrepreneurs, Engelbrecht explains that many people, men and women alike, still have the mind-set that some professions are “not a women’s career”.

“It is how society thinks about men and women’s roles. Society, men and women alike, still put women in boxes thinking that women are only responsible for rearing the children.”

Engelbrecht encourages society to think, write and talk about females entering into the entrepreneurial sector, and thus promoting more and more women to take the step and enter into the entrepreneur world.

“It is important that we talk about women in all spheres and thus promote and talk about women entering into the entrepreneur sector. Women are not different, they have the same abilities as men and thus should be encouraged to go into entrepreneurship if that is what they are interested in.”

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