August 22

Analysis: How Female-Led Start-Ups Can Transform Africa

An African drive for gender equality and women’s empowerment has consequently given rise to women entrepreneurs and female led startups on the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, has the world’s highest rate of women involved in entrepreneurial activity at 26%. According to the MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2021, Botswana, South Africa and Ghana are among the countries with the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs globally.

The index reveals that these countries not only have a high percentage of female-owned businesses but also formally support women entrepreneurs. Research shows that women make up 58% of Africa’s self-employed population and are more likely to become entrepreneurs than men.

This reveal has profound implications. Female led startups in Africa and beyond are not only as profitable (if not more) than male led startups but more likely to drive women’s empowerment and make a positive social impact on the continent. That said, the gender gap in Africa may not be closing anytime soon in light of the numerous challenges women entrepreneurs face around funding their businesses.

Photo courtesy of Christina @

Source: World Economic Forum (link opens in a new window)

business development, gender equality, startups, women entrepreneurs