Women Entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

Why do women entrepreneurs not fare well in Ethiopia?
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The purpose of this research report is to consolidate and distil lessons drawn from earlier literature on factors affecting women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia.

The report:

  • Examines existing literature on the micro and small enterprise (MSE) sector, on gender and on women entrepreneurs;
  • Recognizes the contribution that microenterprises can make to the socio-economic empowerment of women;
  • Aims to identify the constraints that hinder the growth of the MSE sector in Ethiopia;
  • Reviews:
    • The factors that influence the growth and development of MSEs;
    • The experience of women entrepreneurs in Ethiopian MSEs.

The report finds the following reasons for the low representation of women in Ethiopian MSEs:

  • Low levels of education and training;
  • Too much time spent in household work;
  • Lack of contact with the business world;
  • Meager financial and human capital;
  • Issues relating to ownership rights.

The report considers the appropriate enabling environment for a successful enterprise in Ethiopia at the micro, meso and macro-levels and discusses the accessibility, outreach, sustainability and relevance of financial and non-financial support services.

The report finds:

  • Inadequate Empirical Research on Women in MSEs;
  • Lack of:
    • Appropriate Technology;
    • Strong Organizations for Women Entrepreneurs;
    • Co-ordination Among Business Development Service (BDS) Providers;
    • Access to Land, markets and information.

The report concludes with a mention of pro-active measures that the government of Ethiopia has taken for the development of the MSE sector and to expedite the development process with attention to gender sensitivities.

About this Publication

By Zewde & Associates