Female-owned businesses driving economic growth, reducing inequality in Ghana
By Vaishali Handique
Microenterprises owned by females have been promoted as a powerful engine of economic and social growth, poverty alleviation and a promenade to the elimination of gender inequality.
At the same time, research has documented gender gaps in microenterprise business performance and investment, which can serve to reproduce gender inequality and hinder economic growth. In a number of experiments that attempt to reduce capital constraints faced by micro-entrepreneurs, women appear less likely than men to invest available capital in their business.
We know that women’s efforts to arrange their relationships to best meet their short and long-term needs often influence the decisions they make about their careers in several ways. In particular, decisions related to business are influenced by firstly, a desire to maintain pressure on their partner to take responsibility for certain expenses. Secondly, they attempt to fulfill normative expectations regarding the daily provision of needs of the family; and thirdly, a need to prepare for long-term security.
Photo courtesy of Simone McCourtie.