We pursue proactive strategies to develop and empower women and girls to take on leadership roles in their communities through; training, mentoring, capacity building and coaching. QueenMakers was founded upon the belief that the full and active participation of women in economic activities and decision-making is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Sub Saharan Africa. We also ﬁrmly believe that an investment in women’s leadership training, mentoring, capacity building and coaching will result in a world that is a better place for all.
4 KEY BARRIERS TO FULL PARTICIPATION OF FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IN AFRICA’S GROWTH
Unequal access to education
Women in Africa have unequal access to education from the primary to tertiary level. The resulting lack of
qualiﬁcations is a critical barrier to the valuable work experience that is needed to create a successful business.
Limited access to financing
Surveys have shown that terms of borrowing across the continent are less favourable to women than men. Additionally, studies show that when investors are given identical pitches one delivered by a man and the other by a
woman, they are much more likely to invest in the business with a male founder.
Limited opportunities to develop useful networks
Business circles in Africa remain very much an old boys’ network. The most lucrative business deals and allegiances are often formed in male-dominated social spaces such as bars and exclusively male members’ clubs. Women’s interaction with men in these settings, in the absence of designated male companions, is often considered taboo. These dynamics make it very difﬁcult for women to participate freely in African business networks. Though there are a growing number of formal female networks that link like-minded women, there are still not enough. Moreover, women, as a whole, do not have enough ﬁnancial and political power to make these networks as powerful as their male-dominated equivalent.
Constraining cultural stereotypes
Though women in Africa are prominent among small business owners, African societies frown on more ambitious, entrepreneurial aspirations which take women away from their traditional roles as home-makers and child bearers. Even when a woman is able to succeed on a national/ pan-African level, society either links her success to a male patron or fails to acknowledge it. The result is that young women with entrepreneurial ambitions often struggle to
identify female role models whilst their male counterparts have a plethora of options to choose from – a cursory glance at well publicised lists such as the Forbes Africa Rich List is enough to see this dynamic.
How We Do It
Soft Skills Training & Development
Coaching & Mentoring
We have a number of programs aimed at addressing each of the above which run in a breakfast seminar format on a bimonthly basis.