The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs report revealed that in South Africa women in early-stage entrepreneurial activity dropped by 15.7% in 2018. This essentially means that only 18.8% of business owners are female in the country, compared to 46.4% in Ghana, which is ranked as the country with the highest women-led companies in the report. This number can be turned around, should the right support be provided to aspiring female entrepreneurs.

Pearl Maphumulo, MD of The Business Development Agency spoke at a recent Intuit QuickBooks event aimed at providing support for local small business owners. After working with entrepreneurs from rural, township and urban areas alike, she discovered that many South African women she has come across don’t seem to have as much confidence in themselves as business leaders compared to men.  “This could potentially be attributed to a cultural stigma which needs to be broken. In order to do this, I believe that women venturing into entrepreneurship need to be supported not only on a technical level, but an emotional and psychological level as well.”

“If we ignore addressing the emotional and psychological barriers that hinder women in becoming entrepreneurs and resilient leaders, we risk missing the opportunity to inspire change and make a real impact in our country. After all, entrepreneurs are human, and when the human thrives, the entrepreneur in them flourishes too,” she says. Read more on Accounting Weekly.