NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 12 – Female entrepreneurs in East Africa experience low growth due to lack of the right information, according to Trademark East Africa (TMEA) Director of women in trade Gloria Atuheirwe.
Speaking ahead of upcoming annual research symposium on Sustainable and inclusive aid for trade, Atuheirwe urged governments in the region to do all that they can to ensure women have the right information to thrive in business.
This is against a finding by Global entrepreneurship monitor report 2016/17 indicating that East Africa has some of the highest numbers of women entrepreneurs in the world, although, their businesses fail in high numbers.
Reasons for discontinuing include unprofitability at 42 percent, lack of finance at 14 percent and other reasons at 44 percent.
“We must acknowledge that women’s entrepreneurship is pivotal to East Africa’s economic transformation. It is crucial to ensure that all its citizens, especially women, are involved in trade and other economic activities”,” says Atuheirwe.
The symposium, which will be held in Nairobi, is in partnership with University of Portsmouth (London).
The conference will bring together 250 selected stakeholders forming a fusion of research, policy and practice.
Those expected include East Africa’s government ministers, global trade policy experts, scholars, private sector players, regional women entrepreneurs and development partners.
“The discussion from the symposium will offer practical solutions that will shape policies and interventions, which resonate with grassroot needs,” she says.
It will explore wide ranging topics relating to empowerment of women in trade. The topics include legal and institutional barriers, inclusion and exclusion in global markets, trade policy advocacy, ICT for trade, socio-cultural enablers and limiters among other relatable issues.