The downside of being a female entrepreneur in Kigali, Rwanda

21 Feb 2018

In spite of the concerted drive by most countries towards gender equality, the reality is that women still remain under utilised in certain spheres of professional endeavours, and entrepreneurship is no exception. Widening the gap between female and male participation in entrepreneurial activities is reinforced by customs, beliefs, culture and religion. Using the patriarchal perceptions that dissuade women from pursuing a business opportunity as the backdrop, this study sought to ascertain how it feels to be a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated society such as Rwanda. The study involved 398 women entrepreneurs who were purposely drawn to complete the survey questionnaire that was the basis of the quantitative approach adopted. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The results suggest that women entrepreneurs worked lesser than men due to family issues;female businesses are smaller in size than male businesses, and women find it difficult reaching the decision to start a business. The implication is that womens? businesses suffer most and thus limit their ability to contribute to the socioeconomic development of a country as they would through employment and poverty reduction. By working together, government and stakeholders may eradicate any form of discrimination in business that is associated with gender.