A research study commissioned by the Sage Foundation has found that, among other fundings, commissioned by Sage Foundation, more than 50% of women in South Africa believe corporate jobs are ‘a safer option’ as opposed to going into business. The new research study from Sage Foundation titled "The Hidden Factors: SA Women in Business" was revealed during a breakfast event in Johannesburg on 25 July 2017.
The research study also pinpoints a need for financial stability and a low tolerance for risk-taking and failure as some of the most significant factors holding back female entrepreneurship in South Africa.
The research was undertaken by the Sage Foundation in partnership with the International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA).
“Starting and running a business is far more time intensive than many women realise. Often, for women, a nine-to-five corporate job allows for more time with one’s family, and would-be entrepreneurs struggle to maintain balance between work and their personal lives – especially in the first few critical years of building a business. Changing gender stereotypes of who does what in a family and women overcoming their own reluctance to ask for help are key changes that could encourage female entrepreneurship," said Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Programme Manager for Africa.
The research highlights the obstacles that South African women in business face, including
A lack of exposure to entrepreneurial role models in their families and communities.
Poor access to funding.
The challenge of juggling personal and work responsibilities.
Left to right: Jennifer Warawa: executive vice president of partners, accountants and alliance at Sage; Guest speaker, Basetsana Kumalo; MC for the event, Redi Tlhabi.
Renowned businessperson, Basetsana Kumalo, was present at the event as a keynote speaker. Kumalo shared her business experiences, lessons as well as her entrepreneurship journey as a woman in South Africa.
Sage Foundation have said that they will be using the findings to engage with policymakers and social NGOs about ways to encourage and support female entrepreneurs in South Africa – starting from their school years.
The Foundation re-iterated that it will look for more NGO partners that it can work with to help remove some of the barriers that women face when they go into business for themselves.