No Woman Left Behind: Inclusive Solutions for Africa's Women Entrepreneurs

No Woman Left Behind: Inclusive Solutions for Africa's Women Entrepreneurs

On 20 March 2024

In Africa, as in many other parts of the world, women in formal employment often grapple with balancing work responsibilities alongside family and household duties. In response, many women turn to entrepreneurship, driven by both necessity and opportunity. However, women entrepreneurs face numerous challenges, from securing adequate financing to navigating legal frameworks and managing employees effectively.

Despite facing significant obstacles, women-owned businesses play a crucial role in Africa's economy. According to a multi-country study on women-led MSMEs conducted by UN Women in 2023, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are vital for economic development across all countries. They represent 90 percent of businesses, contribute to over 60 percent of employment, and account for half of the gross domestic product (GDP) worldwide.  

Furthermore, women's economic and digital empowerment is essential for realizing women's rights and advancing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 5 - Gender Equality. However, the study revealed that women-owned enterprises face a significant finance gap of 32 percent in developing countries. Access to financial products such as capital, cash flow lending, emergency loans, and payment gateways is crucial for women to overcome economic challenges. Unfortunately, these financial resources are severely limited for microenterprises, the majority of which are led by women, due to the high risks associated with economic adversities. 

Moreover, women entrepreneurs often struggle with time constraints, balancing family responsibilities with the demands of their businesses. Additionally, women-owned firms are twice as likely as male-owned businesses to operate from home. 

The cumbersome registration processes with financial institutions can further deter women-owned MSMEs from embracing digital payments, leading them to rely on cash or personal mobile money transactions. Enter Pesapal, a leading payment solution provider committed to empowering women entrepreneurs. 

Unlike traditional setups, we offer a simple onboarding process, from signup to operation, eliminating the barriers to entry with zero sign-up costs. Moreover, we provide ready-made payment solutions that require no initial capital investment or technical expertise, making it easier for women-owned MSMEs to accept digital payments. 

Access to financing remains a critical barrier to business growth, particularly for women entrepreneurs. We address this challenge by offering not only payment solutions, but also additional products such as Pesapal Credit to our merchants, that empower women-owned MSMEs to thrive without the need for significant upfront investment or technical know-how. 

Studies have shown that establishing business-to-business linkages can significantly boost profits for women-led enterprises. As such, we facilitate these connections by democratizing payment tools for both online and physical stores, enabling women-owned MSMEs to accept card and mobile money payments easily. Furthermore, the Pesapal merchant dashboard provides real-time reports, enabling women entrepreneurs to track their financial performance effortlessly. 

Here are a few inspiring stories of women-owned MSMEs leveraging our solutions for success in business: 

  • Purpink, founded by Diana Mwaniki, is a leading online gift shop that embraced our reliable online payment gateway, enabling efficient card payments for over 10,000 customers. 
  • SkinSol, owned by Domiana Mwangangi, transitioned from cash-only transactions to accepting card payments through the Pesapal POS machine, ultimately qualifying for a business loan to expand her skincare parlour. 
  • Monty's, owned by Ketu and Karishma, integrated our plugins to accept online payments, offering a comprehensive range of payment options from credit cards to mobile money. 

Discover more inspiring stories on our YouTube channel. 

About Pesapal: Pesapal provides a simple, safe, and secure way for businesses to accept payments in Africa. We offer merchants and consumers a variety of payment options. From online invoices for tour and travel companies to booking engines for Airbnb businesses, and payment solution for the retail and energy sectors, we support point-of-sale and ecommerce payment processing, empowering businesses across the continent. 

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