MEDA’s latest publication outlines the key characteristics, influencing environment, and needs of Women-Owned Businesses in order to support investors and technical assistance or business service providers in Africa to adopt a gender lens within their current practices and policies.
The findings and strategies presented in this paper were collected through research conducted by MEDA as part of a consultancy for GroFin, a private development finance institution specializing in debt financing and support to small and growing businesses throughout Africa and the Middle East. The scope of this consultancy included research and analysis of both the demand and supply of financial and nonfinancial services for women entrepreneurs in order to develop an in-depth understanding of their experiences and context around access to finance, business support services, and gender equality issues.
Most WBEs from the study have experienced some form of gender discrimination. Most also feel that financing entities and business service providers do not tailor to their needs. Many women were also unsure of where to go and who would take them seriously, for business support and financing.
Ultimately, taking a gender lens is not just good for business but also gets us closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goal #5 Gender Equality, a goal which is foundational to attaining progress on all other SDGs.