South African women entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs

The 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition has seen a  5% increase in the number of female finalists  which is a critical sign that speaks to general health of the South African economy, say organizers of the competition.

The resonates well with  the GEM research report on South Africa which showed that the total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) for South African females improved by 161.3% from 2001 – 2010, growing from 3.1% to 8.1%.

In a statement the organizers said female entrepreneurial activity has been proven to be a major catalyst in triggering economic growth in developing countries.

via South African women venture into entrepreneurship | UJUH.

Dice loaded against black women in business

A dentist by profession, she started her business supplying medical equipment to state hospitals nine years ago.

In spite of her impressive professional qualifications – a Medical University of SA dentistry degree, an honours degree from Stellenbosch University and a masters from the University of Pretoria – she battled to find a bank or institution willing to consider her business plan, never mind give her a loan.

Even state funding entities set up to advise and finance small and medium enterprise start-ups were not interested, she says.

“Culturally, you’ve got problems.

“In Africa, the woman is regarded as someone who has to take care of her family full time and nothing else.

“And banks do not believe in funding entrepreneurs who are female.

“When you go to the banks, they do not believe you are capable of doing it.

“Men are the only people who can succeed in running a business.

“We are supposed to be employed or in the kitchen.

“When you come with a business plan to a bank they resist, they don’t believe it will succeed.”

Eventually a bank agreed to give her a R30000 overdraft.

“They were better than other banks which rejected me altogether. They didn’t even want to hear my story.”

Mzizana is outraged that institutions the government started with the express purpose of financing small businesses, and which are forever trumpeting their achievements in this area, showed her the door as quickly as any of the commercial banks.

“These are organisations that claim to be helping women’s businesses. They are actually not doing that at all.

“That’s why there are no women businesses that are successful. They open and within one year they’ve closed down.

“If you keep going for five years you’ve done very well as a woman.”

via Dice loaded against black women in business – Business LIVE.

Business in Population Management

Global population numbers are on track to reach 7 billion in 2011, just 12 years after reaching 6 billion in 1999. Virtually all of the growth is in developing countries.

And the growth of the world’s youth population (ages 15 to 24) is shifting into the poorest of those countries.

The new Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet, offers detailed information about country, regional, and global population patterns.

In the context of CSR, I find it interesting that we talk a lot about the environment and its connections with growth and we discuss at length the use (and abuse) of natural resources and links to climate change.

Yet, one of the major challenges that businesses could play a role in relates to birth control and population management.

via A Role for Business in Population Management | Use Celsias.com