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South African Women Entrepreneurs

Job Creators Survey


Throughout Africa, women-led enterprises emerge and persist despite daunting challenges: struggles to secure resources and access to markets.¹ Given the role of women entrepreneurs as employers and as engines of economic growth across the continent, it is important to understand their strengths as well as the challenges they confront, to learn how best to support them as business leaders during and post-COVID-19. Efforts to foster resilience among women-led enterprises in Africa have faced a widely recognized problem—unreliable data.² Lionesses of Africa is partnering with researchers from New York University to provide reliable, timely data and insights into women entrepreneurs and their businesses and give Africa’s women entrepreneurs a voice in shaping resources targeted to them.

This first report in the series focuses on South Africa’s women entrepreneurs. Women account for just 19.4% of business owners in South Africa³ but have made important gains in recent years in entrepreneurial activity.⁴ This report describes the experiences of South Africa’s women entrepreneurs through key insights derived from data collected from the South African Women Entrepreneurs Job Creators Survey.


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