Women entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses in South Africa have the potential to boost the country's economy by approximately $12 billion (R175 billion). This is according to new research released by Facebook titled "Potential future levels of female business entrepreneurship in SA."

![Women Entrepreneurship South Africa Facebook](/content/images/2018/08/20180813_172846.jpg) Some highlights from the "Potential future levels of female business entrepreneurship in SA" research by Facebook.

The research was conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook.

“We know that helping women to start and grow prosperous companies is a powerful way of transforming our society and creating equal opportunities for all. When women do better, economies do better – they are an important part of the South African economy. Women make effective business leaders and unbelievable entrepreneurs, and that's why this Women's Month we're not only celebrating women who have built and run businesses, we're also calling on all women to realise their potential and take that leap of faith,” said Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director for Facebook in Afrika.

The research also reveals that if all the women who said they were 'very likely' to start a business in South Africa (26%) did so, this would create 972,000 jobs within 5 years and over 803,000 new businesses within 4 years.

Women entrepreneurship in South Africa

As can be typically expected among startups and entrepreneurs in South Africa, lack of access to funding was cited as the main barrier to women setting up their businesses independently.

![Women Entrepreneurship South Africa Facebook Nunu Ntshingila](/content/images/2018/08/20180813_175438-min.jpg) Some highlights from the "Potential future levels of female business entrepreneurship in SA" research by Facebook.

More highlights from the research include:

  • Of those women who are very interested in setting up a business, slightly more than one-third appear to want to set up their business within 1 year. A further 35% anticipate establishing their business within 2 or 3 years, and close to 16% say they expect it would be more than 3 years in the future.

  • It is estimated that women aged between 25-34 will likely set up 293,000 businesses over the four years, followed by those aged 18-24 with 213,000 and 35-44-year-olds setting up 131,000 businesses.

  • Approximately 81% of females reported using online tools to help communicate with customers, which was significantly higher than the proportion of male small business managers saying they did this (72%).

However, despite the large potential that the research puts forward, it's important to note that these are women who are potentially thinking of starting a business and have not yet necessarily started one. Also, calculations were made by Development Economics using data from the Future of Business survey commissioned by Facebook in South Africa, and surveys were undertaken by the [Global Entrepreneurship Monitor](https://www.iafrikan.com/tag/Global-Entrepreneurship-Monitor" target="_blank") (GEM) in South Africa.