There is a large entrepreneurial gender disparity in South Africa. A recent survey shows that the average total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) female/male gender ratio is 0.70. Further statistics show that only 9% of women are involved in the early stages of entrepreneurial pursuit compared to 13% of males involved in the same pursuit. Research has also suggested that females take part in entrepreneurial activity out of necessity, have an elevated fear of failure, and are more risk averse in comparison to men. There are also other factors such as female-biased and struggles to find sufficient financing that hinders women in their pursuit of entrepreneurial success.


The Sage Foundation has conducted research to determine the elements and problems that must be overcome in order to bridge this entrepreneurial gender gap.

Problem Identified 

There were 10 problems that were identified that need to be addressed and fostered in order to increase female entrepreneurship.

  1. Creating an Entrepreneurial Vision for Women
  2. Nurturing Confidence, Risk-Taking and a Willingness to Fail
  3. Early Exposure to Entrepreneurship
  4. Stimulation of Unique Business Ideas
  5. Managing Work and Family Balance
  6. Capital and Funding
  7. Assistance with Creating a Sustainable Sales Pipeline
  8. Development of Finance and Business Skills
  9. Sufficient Support Structures
  10. Developing Resilience

The outcome of the research determined that in order for the entrepreneurial gender gap to recede more support must be given to females on various levels. The types of support mentioned include but are not limited to; emotional support from family and friends to boost confidence, support in domestic responsibilities to provide them with the time they need, and support in the form of a mentor.

The Allan Grey Foundation has taken these findings to heart and is currently trying to implement these suggestions and improve its female program and curriculum.

You can read more about the research conducted and its finding by clicking here

Allan Grey Orbis Foundation