Female entrepreneurship is growing stronger by the year in the Maghreb region, but it is not yet up to the level in the rest of the African continent.
Female entrepreneurs in the Maghreb region
Although female entrepreneurship in the Maghreb region is emerging, it is not yet up to the standards set in the rest of the African continent. In fact, according to the last Women in Africa (WIA) summit, in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt), women’s entrepreneurship rate is lower than in the rest of the continent: 26% to 8%! More on the subject with Ecomnews Med.
“Women in Africa”: less women entrepreneurs in Maghreb than in the rest of the continent
With 24% of African women entrepreneurs, the highest rate in the world, and one in three women claiming to have a business creation project, the African continent is on the way to emancipation according to a firm study Roland Berger led for women’s economic development initiative “Women In Africa”. But when it comes to the Maghreb region, this rate falls down to a mere 8% of women entrepreneurs. Why such a gap?
For Anne Bioulac, General Manager of Roland Berger France, the reasons are tied with cultural and structural reasons. In fact, Roland Berger noticed that the entrepreneurship rate in English, French and Portuguese speaking African countries was not that different, with 27%, 26% and 22% respectively of women entrepreneurs.
In the Maghreb region, rates are much lower with only 8% of women entrepreneurs. Despite appearances, this gap is not related to language but rather to the wealth, education and literacy rate; less developed in the sub-Saharan countries where women have nothing to lose. They also do not have the same access to the labour market as Maghreb women, so they create their own opportunities.
In the Maghreb region, on the other hand, women entrepreneurship rate is low because North Africa is richer than the rest of the continent. And in richer countries, women are less likely to be entrepreneurs because they have access to the job market more easily, in a more formal economy, with less risk taking to support their families and children. In these countries, we have about 40% of women entrepreneurs among the rate of women working, while elsewhere, we have a rate of about 50%.
Women entrepreneurship: Africa is best in class
Women’s entrepreneurship has a bright future in Africa, despite the ongoing problems of women empowerment in the region. According to “Entrepreneurship Study”, the latest study on the subject unveiled by the firm Rolland Berger for Women in Africa, it is on the continent that the rate of entrepreneurial activity of women is the highest in the world. Nearly 24% of working-age African women are actively involved in the creation of businesses that have just been launched or already have several months of service. In Southeast Asia and the Pacific, for example, the rate of women entrepreneurs is only 11%. It is 17% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 12% in North America and only 8% in Europe and Central Asia.