How women in South Africa start, run, and grow their businesses
Lately, I’m reminded of that point in my life where no amount of reasoning could have talked me out of what was becoming a mystical magnet drawing me to try a new thing. To get out from behind the safety net, and start something completely new. And mine.
I made a pact with myself to combine all that I knew, all that I was naturally talented in, all that interested me - and most of all, all that I had an unending curiosity for.
And then started.
I kept my job for a while afterwards. In fact you can still say I have another career that still has to run alongside this passion. There are many (many!) other things you need to think about when starting a business. It is important that you park the butterflies to ‘work the numbers' soon enough. But when it comes to dreaming up the thing You want to contribute to the world?
You just start.
I hope you enjoy this “Women in Small Business” report which Yoco has created to shed a small light on the process of starting, running and growing a business as a woman in South Africa.
Pela Pela Foods
Yoco Merchant #30 952
Most women started their first business before they turned 30. Some always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. Others came up with a brilliant idea and decided to run with it. A few started a side hustle that turned into a thriving business.
No matter how they might have started, the majority said that starting their business was much more difficult than they expected it to be.
What kept you from jumping in immediately?
What motivates women to start?
Click here to learn more about women in business
One of Each
Yoco Merchant #620
iNkosi Eco Lodge
Yoco Merchant #415
What worries women most about running a business?
Challenges for women in business
When comparing the top challenges for women vs men, there aren’t many differences at all.
The top two challenges for both genders are the poor state of the economy and troubles with cash flow.
The third biggest challenge for women is a lack of access to finance, while men are more concerned about the political uncertainty in South Africa. Political uncertainty is only the 6th biggest challenge for women, with worries about growth of their customer base and competition with big business beating it.
Top Three Challenges
To learn more about the challenges for women in business, click here.
Access to finance for women in small business
Growing your business relies on funding. Sometimes the profit you make just can’t cover your growth plans. Whether you’re buying more stock, marketing your business or opening a new location, you need funding to grow.
The top three reasons why owners applied for funding:
Funding for the future
But where women set themselves apart is in the ‘why’. Why keep pushing when confronted with the many challenges that small business owners face? Whether it’s Gugu’s goal of making women feel as if they belong in their own skin, Mokgadi’s passion for natural honey or Tina’s Xhosa-inspired fashion, women tend to be more motivated by love and the desire to build businesses around their unique skills.
Gugu puts it best in the foreword: it’s insanity! But it’s the type of madness and passion that drives the economy forward and enables the country to thrive.
For that we salute them.