5 Top reasons to celebrate female African entrepreneurs on International Women’s Day 2021

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The 8th of March of every year is celebrated as international women’s day all around the world. The theme for this year 2021 is Choose to challenge.

The theme from the IWD website reads:

“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so lets all chose to challenge”

Here are 5 top reasons why we should celebrate female African entrepreneurs on a day like this.

1. Rising to the challenge

Africa is largely a patriarchal continent with limited opportunities for women. The belief that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not in the business world is pervasive in Africa. But over the years, women have risen to the challenge of stepping out from the kitchen and conventional society jobs to the high risk and high wired world of entrepreneurship. African women have started and scaled businesses in male-dominated fields. They are breaking stereotypes from Nigeria to South Africa to Kenya to Egypt, etc. The increase in the number of female-founded and owned businesses is a testament to the fighting spirit of the African female entrepreneur.

-The wave of Innovation

Most of the businesses owned by African entrepreneurs are not your everyday businesses. They are businesses with innovative solutions that address diverse problems in different sectors. We have innovative female entrepreneurs making impacts in tech, agriculture, fashion, food, skincare, Health care, finance, creative arts, etc with valued added services.

3. Resilience

We celebrate our female African entrepreneurs for their resilience and fighting spirit. In hostile business environments and climes, they are staying strong and overcoming challenges. In cultural settings where it is the duty of the man to work and the woman to stay at home to take care of the children and do house chores, the woman leaving the home to start a business is a daring move that would be frowned upon. Such action on her part is always met with resistance by society. Obstacles will be created and challenges will spring up to halt her entrepreneurial journey. But in the face of these daunting challenges, female African entrepreneurs have been able to thrive due to their resilience.

4. Societal Impact

We celebrate female African entrepreneurs for the impact their businesses have created on their families, immediate community and society. Most of these entrepreneurs have become the breadwinners in their families, bringing hope and putting smiles on the faces of their dependants. The effects and impacts of their businesses have extended to the communities. Their businesses have created job opportunities for other people, thereby reducing the pool of unemployment. These businesses have increased economic activities in the places where they are situated. Furthermore, some of these businesses have expanded to the extent that they engage in corporate social responsibility activities, impacting positively on their host communities.

5. Inspiring hope for a better future:

Female African entrepreneurs deserve to be celebrated on this International women’s day for inspiring the older and the next generation with the role of entrepreneurship as a vehicle for change and wealth creation. The girl-child is inspired to become an entrepreneur when she sees how a female is doing well in her line of business. The girl-child gets convinced that she can be the boss and take the reins of her life and do great things. Female African entrepreneurs have so many stories to tell: grass to grace stories and stories that would motivate people to venture into entrepreneurship.

From the shopping malls of Cape town to the Markets in Uyo to the streets of Dakar and the shops in Accra to the online business pages in Kigali, African female entrepreneurs are marching on, challenging stereotypes and creating a more inclusive world. Happy International Women’s day!

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