African women entrepreneurs

AWIEF 2022, Source the occasion of the 9th annual Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), the ASCL Library compiled a web dossier on African women entrepreneurs. It contains titles from the ASCL Library catalogue, extended with sources from the broader Leiden University Library collection. The dossier is introduced by Akinyinka Akinyoade and concludes with a number of relevant web resources.

Introduction | Selected publications | Web resources

Introduction: Female entrepreneurship in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest proportion of women that are engaged in entrepreneurial activity; this proportion is estimated at between 26-30% (WEF 2022; Moki 2022). In Africa, women make up about three-fifths of the continent’s self-employed population, many of which also evolve into entrepreneurs. Also, in the African cross-border trade sector, 70% of informal transactions are conducted by women traders (Moki, 2022). Thus, the contribution of African women in entrepreneurship and trading is therefore vital to the success of African economies.

Scholarly work with special attention to female entrepreneurship and female-owned or female-managed businessesin Africa have indicated shifts in levels of entrepreneurship in the past two decades. For instance, a World Bank 2008 report, entitled, ‘Doing Business: Women in Africa’ noted that the three countries with the relatively largest proportion of women entrepreneurs were Ghana (44%), Cape Verde (43%), and Rwanda (41%). By 2018, the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (2018), showed countries with the highest number of female entrepreneurs which were Ghana (46%), Uganda, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The long history of female entrepreneurship in Ghana was further underscored in the MIWE 2021 report. More recently, Nigeria and Zambia are in the lead with the highest proportion of female entrepreneurship on the African continent. Countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Ghana are noted to have formal support structures for female entrepreneurs, as seen by their high percentage of female-owned businesses.

Women entrepreneurs in Africa: the diversity of experiences. (© Roland Berger,

Monetarily, Africa’s female entrepreneurs contributed between US$250 billion and US$300 billion to the continent’s economic growth in 2016, proportionally 13% of the continental GDP (Berger 2018). According to WEF 2022, additional economic growth can be achieved with the further increase in the rate of growth of female-owned business and the reduction in gender gap observed in business opportunities.

To deepen the contributions of African female entrepreneurs to continental growth further, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),a single continental market for goods and services, may be leveraged as an enfranchising environment for female business founders to expand their businesses across the continent and boost intra-Africa trade. While the utilization of AfCFTA is a laudable economic pathway, challenges remain nonetheless.

Africa is the only region in the world where more women than men are increasingly choosing  to become entrepreneurs (World Bank 2018). The expansion of opportunities for female entrepreneurs through policies that foster gender equality would have in the future a tremendous impact on Africa’s growth. Simple and inexpensive solutions that have been proven effective should be adopted on a wider scale. While both male and female entrepreneurs face constraints such as lack of capital, women have been found to be impacted by a number of other obstacles, such as discrimination and the dearth of collateral. As a result, female-owned enterprises post monthly profits that are on average 38% lower than those of male-owned enterprises. Three factors account in part for this under performance: the lack of capital, the choice of business sector, and commercial practices. The barriers that female entrepreneurs face therefore need to be carefully evaluated.

Women remain the untapped resource and catalyst of Africa’s economic growth, especially under the Women and Youth in Trade Protocol. Income from intra-African trade is currently significant for nearly half (43%) of the continent’s entire population. Ironically, intra-African trade accounts for just over 10% of total continental trade. East Africa performs relatively low at only 8.3% of total trade in 2017, which was far below the continental average, and it has virtually maintained the same level in the past five years, according to the 2019 report by the African Development Bank. Thus, there are concerns about the place of Africa in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, given that the contribution of African women entrepreneurs is limited.

Innovation: The results of a joint-survey by UNESCO and the Africa Women’s Forum of 427 women entrepreneurs in ten African countries show that only one in four female African entrepreneurs (23.9%) have innovated. Also in the surveyed countries (Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia), very few (9 of 427) created an application for a mobile phone alone or in partnership with other businesses; some (17 of 427) have had their invention patented; while some others reported having registered their product with regulatory bodies (such as with the Food and Drugs Board in Ghana).

Registration: The very low count of innovation is also related to the labyrinthine registration process for the intellectual property rights which were described as being lengthy, costly and/or bureaucratic. Other women reported being stymied by the lack of information and guidance on the patenting process. Another group of women who expressed outright reluctance to register or patent their product, premised their non-embarkation on the process by the nature of the informal business that they ran, which made them unwilling to undertake costly and complex bureaucratic procedures for the export of goods and products (see box below; Moki 2022).

• At a poultry farm in Cameroon's capital Yaounde, the female farm owner said her 30,000 chickens, destined for markets in Gabon, have yet to leave.
• Bissso Nakatuma, Niger's director for the promotion of rural enterprises, said female entrepreneurs in her country experienced similar difficulties exporting goods from the hinterlands to neighbouring states.
• Female business owners indicate that they struggle to obtain visas and documents required for the exportation of goods.

Access to finance is the greatest barrier: The formal launch of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has opened African businesses to a 1.2 billion people market but the female entrepreneurs are missing out on the opportunities because their businesses are mostly small, have low productivity and get little funding from governments and agencies. Access to start-up finance was the most commonly identified barrier to the establishment and/or expansion of businesses, reported by 70% of surveyed women. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, women entrepreneurs in Africa faced a US$42 billion financing gap, though women operate over 40% of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

Despite the seeming centrality of financing, most of the women cited in the studies above prefer to obtain training in entrepreneurship from their respective governments or prospective partners, followed by financial support. A few examples are given below on programmes that are aimed at entrepreneurial successes of female-owned businesses, which will substantially boost trade and reduce endemic poverty.

Sectors and Programmes
In several African countries, the sectors in which women are actively engaged include agriculture, manufacturing (clothing and textiles), and services. Trading opportunities in these sectors have brought more household resources under women’s control, which is further stimulating stronger investments in the health and education of children and youth. However, more systematic assessment is needed to highlight and understand the performance of women in Africa as they adjust to trade liberalization in these sectors.

UN Women: Africa is home to the world’s largest free trade area because of the number of countries involved; the AfCFTA. With a potential to increase Africa’s economic output by US$29 trillion by 2050, and an estimated US$4.2 trillion business-to-business transactions, the AfCFTA brings enormous opportunities for women entrepreneurs, including in large scale and innovative business5. UN Women works with regional bodies on the AfCFTA and AfCFTA Secretariat to address challenges that (young) women face when trading and to position them more strongly in the future of intra-African trade, by:

  • Co-convening continental conferences on women and youth in trade;
  • Advocating greater investment in (young) women’s economic empowerment, skills building, and (young) women-led SMEs throughout the value chains so that they can compete and reap the benefits of regional integration and intra-African trade;
  • Generating knowledge on the challenges that (young) women who trade face.

Also, the UNECA, through its Africa Centre for Gender, seeks to address gender inequality and women’s empowerment through research, producing developing tools and providing evidence for policy formulation and implementation. The Africa Centre for Gender produces the Africa Women’s Report (AWR) and policy research on various women’s empowerment issues, including women’s entrepreneurship. Its 2019 AWR focuses on “Digital Finance: A Pathway to Women’s Economic Empowerment.” It has developed the African Gender and Development Index.

Women Entrepreneurship for Africa: the WE4A project is jointly supported by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with implementation from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the German Development agency GIZ (E4D program). Running the growth and acceleration programs of WE4A is the Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets (SAFEEM). The virtual Acceleration Program, implemented by SAFEEM, seeks to provide a hundred female entrepreneurs from the TEF alumni network, with access to €10.000 in grant funding that will be paired with three months of technical support.

Lionesses of Africa: This is a social enterprise that builds and delivers entrepreneur development programmes, mentoring programmes, business tools, digital media channels, community platforms, networking events, and information resources. Over 1 million affiliates are women entrepreneurs.

Start-ups: The year 2022 may be recognized as a turning point in the access to funding by African women entrepreneurs. More African female founders were able to raise capital for their start-ups and get accepted into reputable accelerators such as Techstars Toronto Accelerator (Techstars Toronto) and Y Combinator (YC) (Koromone, 2022).


Akinyinka Akinyoade


Selected publications

Subsaharan Africa, general | Northeast Africa | West Africa | West Central Africa | East Africa | Southeast Central and Southern Africa

Subsaharan Africa, general

Startup life may stop here: helping women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa / Amr Swid, Emily Rukobo, Elizabeth Maro.
In: Journal of global business insights, vol. 8, no. 1, pages 16-30, 2023.

African women entrepreneurs and COVID-19: Towards achieving the African Union Agenda 2063 / Emem O. Anwana, Oluwasegun J. Aroba.
In: Hervormde teologiese studies, 2022.

Entrepreneuriat féminin dans les économies émergentes : quelle réalité en Afrique ? / Kawtar Tijari, Rachid Smouni.
In: International Journal of accounting, finance, auditing, management and economics, vol. 4, no. 1-1, pages 307-321, 2022.

Having nothing and giving much: Sub-Saharan African women entrepreneurs thriving in the COVID-19 pandemic / Bridget Irene, Dina Nziku, Cynthia Forson, Atsede Tesfaye. - Coventry: International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship, 2022.

Jenseits von Europa : was afrikanische Unternehmerinnen und Unternehmer besser machen / Sophia Bogner, Paul Hertzberg. - Econ: Berlin, 2022.cook cover 'Jenseits von Europa'

Motivations for entrepreneurship: new evidence from tertiary-level educated Sub-Saharan African women / Sombo Muzata.
In: Journal of African business, ahead-of-print, pages 1-31, 2022.

Women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa : historical framework, ecosystem, and future perspectives for the region / Marina Dabić, Leo Paul Dana, Dina M. Nziku, Veland Ramadani. - Cham: Springer, 2022.

Entrepreneurship in Africa: context and perspectives / Ven Sriram. - Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge, 2021.

Female entrepreneurship in Africa: A review, trends, and future research directions / Nathanael Ojong; Amon Simba; Leo-Paul Dana.
In: Journal of business research, vol.132, p.233-248, 2021.

L'entrepreneuriat féminin en Afrique, entre bricolage et survie / sous la direction de Nene Kane et Razane Chroqui. - L'Harmattan: Paris, 2021.

L’ accompagnement de l’entrepreneuriat féminin dans les pays africains en développement / Félix Zogning.
In: Revue organisations & territoires, vol.30, no. 2, pages 53-63, 2021.

Entrepreneuriat féminin en Afrique : catalyseur de transformation économique et approche de réussite / Félix Ntep, Rachid Zammar.
In: Revue marocaine de l'entrepreneuriat, de l'innovation et du management, vol. 5, no. 2, 2020.

Strategic flexibility and organizational resilience of woman entrepreneurs in Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic / Chioma Onoshakpor; Abasiama Etuknwa; Nagmeldin Karamalla-Gaiballa.
In: Research journal of business and management, volume 7, number 4, pages 277-287., 2020.

"L'entrepreneuriat féminin en Afrique, ""une mine d'or inexploitée""! / Ibrahima Théo Lam ; préface de Justine Coulidiatou Kielem ; postface de Mahadie Outhman.Issa.". - Harmattan Sénégal: Dakar, 2019.

The smart money tribe : an African woman's guide to making bank / Arese Ugwu. - Smart Media Africa: [Lagos, Nigeria], 2019.

Examining the role of women entrepreneurs in emerging economies / David Chitakunye; Amandeep Takhar. Hershey, PA : Business Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global), [2018]

Entrepreneurship in Africa / edited by Akinyinka Akinyoade, Ton Dietz, Chibuike Uche. - Brill: Leiden, 2017.

Soutenir les femmes entrepreneures en contexte africain : vers une nouvelle approche dynamique et collective / Sophie Brière, Isabelle Auclair and Maripier Tremblay.
In: Revue internationale P.M.E., volume 30, Number 3-4, p. 69–97, 2017.

Gender-aware women's entrepreneurship development for inclusive development in sub-Saharan Africa / Saskia Vossenberg. - INCLUDE knowledge platform on inclusive development policies ;;Gender Resource Facility: Leiden;Amsterdam, 2016.

Invisible : African women in action = femmes africaines en action / Angèle Etoundi Essamba. - Essamba-Art: [Amsterdam], 2015.

Shifting Perspectives - towards a better understanding and a more effective promotion of women entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa / Kathrin Wolf. - Lüneburg: Leuphana Universität Lüneburg,

Northeast Africa

Interpretative phenomenological perceptional study of women entrepreneurs facing challenges in entrepreneurial activity in the Horn of Africa / Metasebia Adula, Shashi Kant.
In: Journal of entrepreneurship, management, and innovation, vol. 4, no. 2 2022.

Determinants of economic achievement for women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia / Beshir Shaku Beriso.
In: Journal of innovation and entrepreneurship, vol. 10, no, 1, pages 1-14, 2021.

Going global – going digital. Diaspora networks and female online entrepreneurship in Khartoum, Sudan / Griet Steel.
In: Geoforum, vol. 120, pages 22-29, 2021.

Determinants that influence the performance of women entrepreneurs in micro and small enterprises in Ethiopia / Endalew Terefe Alene.
In: Journal of innovation and entrepreneurship, vol. 9, no. 1, pages 1-20, 2020.

Factors affecting women entrepreneurs in establishing their own business: the case of Afar Region, Ethiopia / Amsalu Tadesse Demssie
In: African journal of business management, vol.14, no 3, pages 86-92, 2020.

L’entrepreneuriat feminin à Djibouti : nécessité ou opportunité ? / Aboubaker Ilyas Abdillahi, Mohammed Mezene, Hicham Hafid.
In: Revue économie, gestion et société, no. 24, 2020.

Lived experiences of females with entrepreneurship in Sudan: networking, social expectations, and family support / Ibrahim Said, Christine Enslin.
In: SAGE open, vol. 10, no. 4, pages 215824402096313-, 2020.

The women entrepreneurs failure factors in the case of Gojjam zones / Getaneh Yenealem Ayene and Nebyu Adamu Abebe.
In: Journal of public administration, finance and law, issue 17, pages 139-153, 2020.

Gender, entrepreneurial characteristics, and success: Evidence from Ethiopia / Tigineh Mersha, Ven Sriram.
In: Thunderbird International Business Review, vol.61 (2), p.157-167, 2019.

Women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa : a self-determination theory perspective. The case of Ethiopia / Atsede Tesfaye Hailemariam. - [Tilburg]: Tilburg University, 2018.

Navigating (im)mobility : female entrepreneurship and social media in Khartoum / Griet Steel.
In: Africa : journal of the International African Institute, vol. 87, no. 2, p. 233-252, 2017.

Challenges and motivations of women entrepreneurs in Somali region of Ethiopia / Abdirahman Muhumad.
In: Istanbul journal of sociological studies, no. 54, pages 169-198, 2016.

Women's entrepreneurship development in Ethiopia : a case study of women in self employment (WISE) / Melat Tekletsadik Haile. - place of publication not identified: Capstone Collection, 2015.

West Africa

Credit cooperative lending loans as challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurship in Africa: evidence from Ghana / Julius Karl D. Fieve, Elie Virgile Chrysostome.
In: Journal of African Business, ahead-of-print, pages 1-21, 2022.

Evaluating the role of Nigerian bankruptcy law in enhancing female entrepreneurship in Nigeria / by Omoseni Adepoju,Tobi Nwulu and Love David.
In: Businesses, vol. 2, no. 4, pages 396-409, 2022.

L’entrepreneuriat féminin au Mali : enjeux et perspectives / Amadou Dolo; Ousmane Mariko; Boubacar Sy; Babakar Soumare; Mouctar Traore.
In: International journal of accounting, finance, auditing, management and economics, vol. 3, no. 3-2, pages 116-134, 2022.

Market orientation, innovativeness and competitive advantage: empirical insight from women entrepreneurs in the Senegalese agri-food sector / Doucouré, Balla ; Diagne, Assane.
In: Journal of African business, ahead-of-print, pages 1-25, 2022.

Un cas d’éthique de la bonne volonté : la bigarrure des comportements des femmes éco-entrepreneurs, à Saint-Louis, au Sénégal / Félix Ntep.
In: Moroccan journal of entrepreneurship, innovation and management, vol. 1, no. 1 & 2, 2022.

Women and the informal sector of Nigerian economy / Ifeyinwa Arum, Nnenna Sandra Eze
In: Redeemer’s University journal of management and social sciences, vol. 5, no. 1, 2022.

Canaux de financement et entrepreneuriat productif des femmes en Afrique de lOuest : une analyse comparative de l’effet de la finance de proximité au Benin / par Gervais Etchèvègnon Djodjo.
In: Finance et finance internationale, vol. 1, no. 22 2021.

Critical analysis of female entrepreneurship and access to finance in Nigeria / Onoshakpor, C., Cunningham, J. and Gammie, E. - Aberdeen: OpenAIR@RGU, 2021.

Entrepreneuriat féminin à domicile à Abidjan en Côte d’Ivoire : gouvernance partenariale et perpétuation de la relève / Haoua Badini Kone.
In: Revue organisations & territoires,vol.30, no.2, pages 39-52, 2021.

Female entrepreneurship, credit access and firm`s performance in Nigeria / Fidelis Chinonso Idigo. - Bodø,: Nord universitet, 2021.

La promotion de l’empowerment et de l’entrepreneuriat féminin auprès des femmes exclues des politiques sociales et économiques au Sénégal / Ndèye Faty Sarr, Marie Fall.
In: Revue organisations & territoires, vol.30, no. 2, pages 31-37, 2021.

My mother's daughter / Taiwo Taiwo. - Quaramo Publishing Limited: Lagos, cover 'My mother's daughter'

Obstacles along the path of women enterprises in Africa: a case study of Ogotun women in Ekiti state, Nigeria / Emmanuel F. Jaiyeola, and Mercy Modupe Adeyeye.
In: Heliyon, vol. 7, no. 7, 2021.

Women entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation: understanding the economic and socio-cultural context of the Igbo women’s Bbasket weaving enterprise in Nigeria / Ugochukwu Chinonso Okolie [and others]
In: Journal of African Business, vol. 22, no 4. pages 448-467, 2021.

Women entrepreneurship in developing economies: a gender-based growth model / Oyedele Martins Ogundana,Amon Simba,Leo-Paul Dana &Eric Liguori.
In: Journal of Small Business Management, volume 59, sup1, S42-S72, 2021.

L'entrepreneuriat féminin au Mali : cas de la commune I du district de Bamako / Silamakan Kante.
In: Academic finance, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020.

La motivation des femmes entrepreneures dans le secteur informel selon l’approche push/pull : cas de la commune I du district de Bamako au Mali / Silamakan Kante, Adama Diabate.
In: Revue des études mutidisciplinaires en sciences économiques et sociales, vol. 5, no. 2, 2020.

Les difficultés d'accès au financement: le cas des femmes entrepreneures du Burkina Faso / Lirassê Akouwerabou.
In: Revue africaine de management, vol. 2, no. 5, 2020.

Overcoming barriers to sustainability of female entrepreneurship in Nigeria / Ndudi Bowei. - Minneapolis: Walden University, 2020.

Portrayal of women entrepreneurs in the Nigerian media and its impact / Omobolanle Francisca George-Epebifie. - Dublin: National College of Ireland, 2020.

Entrepreneuriat féminin et développement au Bénin / Yvette Onibon Doubogan ; préface du John Igué. - L'Harmattan: Paris, 2019.

Femmes d'influence : les signares de Saint-Louis du Sénégal et de Gorée, XVIIIe-XIXe siècle : étude critique d'une identité métisse / Guillaume Vial. - Hémisphères éditions :;Maisonneuve & Larose nouvelles éditions: Paris, 2019.

My life like a rainbow : reflection & life lessons at sixty / Florence Ajimobi. - Florence Ajimobi;[Prints Jovia Prints]: [Nigeria?];[Nigeria?], 2019.

Dust to dew : [a memoir] / Betty Irabor. - Quramo Publishing: Lagos, Nigeria, 2018.

Empreendedorismo feminino como estratégia de combate à pobreza entre mulheres mancanhãs de Guiné-Bissau / Banuma Alberto Caetano Pinto. - [Redenção]: Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira, 2018.

Entrepreneurs by the grace of God : life and work of seamstressers in Bolgatanga, Ghana / Merel van 't Wout. - Afrika Studies Centre Leiden: Leiden, 2018.

Factors influencing the business growth of women-owned sewing businesses in Lagos-State, Nigeria: a pilot study / Oyedele Ogundana, Kostas Galanakis, Amon Simba and Lynn Oxborrow.
In: Organisational studies and innovation review, vol. 4, no. 2, pages 25-36, 2018.

Knowledge is the new gold : how to turn your knowledge into an online course that makes money and impact lives / Stephanie Obi. - ST Hub Limited: [Lagos, Nigeria], cover 'Knwoledge is the new gold'

Olori supergal : from social misfit to social media hero / Oluwatosin Ajibade. - Kachifo: Lagos, 2018.

African women large-scale entrepreneurs : cases from Angola, Nigeria and Ghana / Miriam Siun, Akinyinka Akinyoade and Ewurabena Quaye.
In: Entrepreneurship in Africa / Akinyinka Akinyoade, Ton Dietz, and Chibuike Uche. Leiden : Brill, 2017 ; pages 323-343. - 2017.

Assessment of the performance of informal women entrepreneurs in Enugu State, south east Nigeria / Patience Ifenyinwa Opata and Rosemary Nnedinso Arua.
In: African journal of agricultural research, vol. 12, no. 11, pages 923-931, 2017.

Entrepreneuriat féminin et l'accès à l'énergie durable : portraits de femmes championnes / Enda Énergie en collaboration avec ONU-Femmes ; Equipe éditoriale : Yacine Diagne Gueye, El Hadj Ibrahima Thiam, Nathalie Koffi, Djimingué Nanasta, Laurent Badji. - Enda Energie: Dakar, 2017.

Female entrepreneurship in Nigeria: an investigation / Umar Lawan. - Aberdeen: Robert Gordon University, 2017.

Microfinance intervention in poverty reduction: a study of women farmer-entrepreneurs in rural Ghana / Julius A. Nukpezah, Charles Blankson.
In: Journal of African business, vol. 19, no. 4, pages 457-475, 2017.

Relation entre les pratiques de gestion et la performance des femmes entrepreneures dans un environnement d'instabilité socio-politique au Mali / Aïchatou Margueritte Diarra. - Trois-Rivières: Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 2017.

Senegalese women in international trade: from Dakar to Asia / Mohamadou Sall.
In: Mobility between Africa, Asia and Latin America: economic networks and cultural interactions. - London: Zed Books, 2017.

Credit market participation by women-owned small scale enterprises in Wa and Jirapa districts of the Upper West region of Ghana / Benjamin Musah Abu , Paul Bata Domanban and Samuel Sekyi.
In: Ghanaian journal of economics : a journal of the African Finance and Economics Consult,volume 4, number 1, pages 71-97, 2016.

En route to New York: diasporic networks and the reconfiguration of female entrepreneurship in Senegal / Marieme S. Lo.
In: Gender, Place & Culture, vol. 23, no. 4, pages 503- 520, 2016.

The impact of women entrepreneurs towards national development : selected study on Taraba State / Sam B.A. Tende.
In: Information and knowledge management, vol. 6, no. 6, pages 30-43, 2016.

Les femmes de Sébikhotane de 1900 à nos jours : histoire économique et sociale des générations africaines / Mamadou Kandji ; préface de madame le professeur Rokhaya Fall Sokhna. - L'Harmattan: Paris, 2016.

Women as economic actors : experiences from northern Ghana : survey report / Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Ghana. - Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Ghana: Accra, 2016.

Characteristics of micro, small and medium enterprises in Ghana: gender and implications for economic growth / Roland Asarea, Mavis Akuffobeaa, Wilhelmina Quayea and Kwasi Atta-Antwi.
In: African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 7(1), 26-35, 2015.

Female entrepreneurship in West Africa: trends and trajectories / Philip J. Havik.
In: Early modern women, vol.10 (1), p.164-177, 2015.

“I Took My Life in My Own Hands”: The Clandestine Business of Prostitution in Bamako / Inès Neubauer.
In: Cultural entrepreneurship in Africa. - New York, NY [etc.]: Routledge, 2015.

One plastic bag : Isatou Ceesay and the recycling women of the Gambia / Miranda Paul ; illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon. - Millbrook Press: Minneapolis, cover 'One plastic bag'

The women behind the camera : female entrepreneurship in the southern Nigerian video film industry / Alessandro Jedlowksi.
In: Cultural entrepreneurship in Africa. - New York, NY [etc.] Routledge, 2015.

Factors influencing the business growth of women-owned sewing businesses (WOSBs) in Lagos-State, Nigeria: a gender-aware growth framework / Oyedele Ogundana. - England: Nottingham Trent University (United Kingdom),

Les déterminants de l’entrepreneuriat féminin à Dakar Sénégal / by Ibrahima Dia and Jean Bonnet and Rafik Abdesselam. - München: Munich Personal RePEc Archive,

Women entrepreneurship in Nigeria : drivers, barriers and coping strategies.
In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Computing, Communication and Control System, I3CAC 2021, 7-8 June 2021, Bharath University, Chennai, India

West Central Africa

Culture et entrepreneuriat féminin à Lubumbashi : étude exploratoire / Trésor Mupeta Mutwila.
In: International journal of social sciences and scientific studies, vol 2, no. 3, pages 602 - 614, 2022.

Le commerce transfrontalier à l'est de la R.D. Congo : une opportunité pour la paix et la stabilité dans la Région des Grands-Lacs / Princesse Odya Kalinda - Paris: L'Harmattan, 2022.

Mémoires : les plus belles années de ma vie / Chantal Kanyimbo ; préface de S. Ilunga Ilunkamba. - L'Harmattan: Paris, 2022.

Couvre-feu ou koboma batu? : Cafouillage pour une survie quotidienne à tout prix pour les malewistes à Kinshasa / Ingird Mulamba Feza.
In: Le Carrefour Congolais, volume 5, p. 19-41, 2021.

Femmes et petits commerces du fleuve Congo entre Brazzaville et Kinshasa / Gaston M'Bemba-Ndoumba. - Paris: L'Harmattan, 2021.

Problems faced by young women when starting a business in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo / Darla Urmiche Diya Lipoko. - [Cape Town]: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2021.

Analyse des dynamiques entrepreneuriales des femmes dans la création d’une entreprise collective : le cas de la création d’une coopérative féminine dans la région de l’Ouest du Cameroun / Christiane Lolita Memdjofeng Toche - Rennes: Université Rennes 2, 2020.

La promotion de l’entrepreneuriat feminin par le microcredit en Republique Democratique du Congo / Genèse Bibi Ekomene.
In: KAS African Law Study Library, vol.7, no. 2, pages 350-361, 2020.

Wandering women: the work of Congolese transnational traders / Lesley Nicole Braun.
In: Africa, vol.89, no. 2, pages 378-397, 2019.

Femmes créatrices d'entreprises au Congo-Brazzaville : 10 portraits / Régine Tchicaya-Oboa. - L'Harmattan: Paris, cover 'Femmes créatrices d'entreprises au Congo-Brazzaville'

L’entrepreneuriat féminin au Cameroun : enjeux et perspectives / Oscar Assoumou Menye, Fabrice Arnaud Guetsop Sateu.
In: Revue Congolaise de Gestion, 2017, numéro 24, pages 11 à 42, 2017.

La croissance de Micro et Très Petites Entreprises féminines au Cameroun : une analyse par les modes de financement / Sadjo Kaoutoing, Thérèse Maï Django Wambé, Hourenatou.
In: Management & Avenir, 2017/1 (N° 91), pages 65 à 85, 2017.

Les femmes lokélé en RDC : structure sociale et dynamique marchande / Léon Mondole Esso-Libanza Ebeyogo. - Paris: L'Harmattan, 2017.

Structures d’accompagnement informelles et financement de la petite entreprise camerounaise en phase de démarrage : le cas de la femme entrepreneure / Mireille Djoumessi Teufack, Doumagay Donatienne Moskolai, Micael Myede.
In: Revue africaine de management, vol. 1, no. 2, 2017.

Patterns in circulation : cloth, gender, and materiality in West Africa / Nina Sylvanus. - Chicago [etc.]: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Les femmes entrepreneures dans la société politique camerounaise / Ginette Patience Nkolo Asse Sosso. - Bordeaux: Bordeaux, 2015.

East Africa

What Drives Women Entrepreneurs in Tourism in Tanzania? / Irene Mkini Lugalla, Jan P.A.M. Jacobs & Wim Westerman.
In: Journal of African Business, ahead-of-print, pages 1-19, 2023.

Female entrepreneurship in Uganda: manoeuvring gendered spaces / Dana Iannaccone. - Utrecht: Utrecht University, 2022.

Gender differences in business performance: evidence from Kenya and South Africa / Tesfaye T. Lemma, Tendai Gwatidzo & Mthokozisi Mlilo
In: Small business economics, vol.60 (2), p.591-614, 2022.

Assessing effects of microfinance institutions on empowerment of women entrepreneurs / Ezechiel Sekibibi, Misago Isaie Kadafi, Jean Pierre Dukundane and Hertier Twizerimana.
In: ULK scientific journal,volume 42, pages 31-56., 2021.

From Kenya to Europe : my story / Grace Ndiritu. - Writers Guild Kenya: Nairobi, cover 'From Kenya to Europe'

Accelerating women's economic empowerment? : a review of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP). - Forum for Women in Democracy: Kampala, 2020.

Alleviating financial barriers for women-owned enterprises in Tanzania / Vanessa Naegels. - Leuven: KU Leuven, 2020.

Licensing of artisanal mining on private land in Uganda: social and economic implications for female spouses and women entrepreneurs / Abby Sebina-Zziwa, Richard Kibombo.
In: Canadian journal of African studies, vol. 54, no. 1, pages 101-117, 2020.

Policies for supporting women entrepreneurs in developing countries: the case of Tanzania / Dina Modestus Nziku, Colette Henry.
In: Journal of entrepreneurship and public policy, 2020.

Business as family, family as business: Female entrepreneurship in Kampala, Uganda / William Monteith, Laura Camfield.
In: Geoforum, vol.101, p.111-121, 2019.

Social attributes and factors influencing entrepreneurial behaviors among rural women in Kakamega County, Kenya / Hesborn Andole Ondiba, Kenichi Matsui.
In: Journal of global entrepreneurship research, vol. 9, no. 1, 2019.

Supporting business opportunities for rural women in East and southern Africa : a case study of Uganda / Susan N. Kavuma, Florence K. Muhanguzi, George Bogere, Kiran Cunningham, Irene Achola. - Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment: Kampala, 2019.

An assessment of the business environment for waste-to-energy enterprises and how it affects women entrepreneurs in Kenya / Solomie Gebrezgabher; A. Taron; J. Odero; M. Njenga.
In: In Njenga, M.; Mendum, R. (Eds.). Recovering bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa: gender dimensions, lessons and challenges. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). - 2018.

Impact of training on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Kenya : case of Meru Town / Agnes Ajuna, Joseph Ntale, Thomas Ngui.
In: International academic journal of innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, vol. 2, no. 2, pages 93-112, 2018.

Influence of women entrepreneurs characteristics on personal well-being in Arumeru District in Tanzania / J. Kabote Samwel.
In: African journal of business management, vol. 12, no. 11, pages 316-328, 2018.

An institutional view on access to finance by Tanzanian women-owned enterprises / Vanessa Naegels, Neema Mori & Bert D’Espallier.
In: Venture Capital, vol. 20, no. 2, pages 191-210, 2018.

Navigating institutional complexities : the response strategies of Tanzanian female entrepreneurs / Thilde Langevang, Michael W. Hansen, Lettice Kinunda Rutashobya.
In: International journal of gender and entrepreneurship, vol. 10, no.3, pages 224-242, 2018.

Resource acquisition and the complexity of social capital : Perspectives from women entrepreneurs in Tanzania and Pakistan / Maria Lindvert. - Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2018.

Access to finance for women entrepreneurs in Kenya : challenges and opportunities / Louisa Manwari, Philip Ngare and Rotuno Kipsang.
In: Journal of emerging trends in economics and management sciences, vol. 8, no. 1, 37-47, 2017.

Exploring the socio-cultural challenges of food processing women entrepreneurs in IRINGA, TANZANIA and strategies used to tackle them / Alsen Florian Kapinga & Calkin Suero Montero
In: Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, , 2017, Vol.7 (1), p.1, 2017.

Financial barriers and how to overcome them: the case of women entrepreneurs in Tanzania / Marta Lindvert.
In: Entrepreneurship in Africa / Akinyinka Akinyoade, Ton Dietz, and Chibuike Uche. Leiden : Brill, 2017 ; pages 344-360. - 2017.

Analysis of challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing finance in Kenya (a case of beauty sector in Nairobi central business district) / Aiddah Kabukuru, Francis Ofunya Afande.
In: Journal of poverty, investment and development, vol. 24, pages 8-26, 2016.

Factors influencing the performance of female owned enterprises: a case of businesses in the central business district of Nairobi, Kenya / Gitonga Doris Nkatha. - Nairobi: University of Nairobi, 2016.

The impact of female entrepreneurship on economic growth in Kenya / Rachel Lock and Heleen Lawton Smith.
In: International journal of gender and entrepreneurship, vol. 8, no. 1, pages 90-96, 2016.

The moderating effect of demographic characteristics on the relationship between strategic capabilities and firm performance in women-owned entrepreneurial ventures in Nairobi, Kenya / Joyce Kimosop, Michael Korir, Margaret White.
In: Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, vol. 33, no. 3, pages 242-256, 2016.

Women, work, and (re)marriage: entrepreneurship among Swahili women in coastal Tanzania / Susi Keefe.
In: Africa today, vol. 62, no. 3, p. 111-131, 2016.

Demographic factors associated with entrepreneurial performance among rural women: a case of Funyula women in Kenya / Pamela A. Chebii; Joash O. Ogada & Gordon Achar.
In: International journal of innovative social sciences & humanities research 3(2):1-7, April-June 2015, 2015.

South East Central and Southern Africa

Mamkhize : my world, my rules : as told to Amanda Ngudle / Shauwn 'Mamkhize' Mkhize. - Johannesburg: African Perspectives, 2022.

A postcolonial and pan‐African feminist reading of Zimbabwean women entrepreneurs / J. Miguel Imas, Lucia Garcia‐Lorenzo.
In: Gender, work, and organization, vol.30, no2, pages 391-411, 2022.

Why peer support matters: entrepreneurial stressors, emotional exhaustion, and growth intentions of women entrepreneurs / Brownhilder Ngek Neneh
In: Entrepreneurship research journal 2022.

I'm in charge of my narrative / Mejury Chipato. - Atcumbre Publishers: [Zimbabwe], 2021.

Entrepreneurship and women’s economic empowerment in Zimbabwe: Research themes and future research perspectives / Evelyn Derera, Francesca Croce, Maxwell Phiri, Charles O’Neill.
In: The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, volume 16, number 1, a787., 2020.

Narratives of middle classness : the lived experiences of women entrepreneurs in Maputo / Sónia Cristina Pandeirada Pinho. - Lisboa: Iscte, 2020.

The stakeholder ecosystem of women entrepreneurs in South African townships / Yogavelli Nambiar, Margie Sutherland & Caren Brenda Scheepers.
In: Development southern Africa, vol. 37, no. 1, pages 70-86 2020.

Cluster initiative management: a potential for African women entrepreneurs in the informal sector / Obianuju E. Okeke-Uzodike, Mogie Subban
In: Local economy, vol. 34, no. 5 pages 412-438, 2019.

Digital inclusion, female entrepreneurship and the production of neoliberal subjects' views from Chile and Zambia / Hannah McCarrick and Dorothea Kleine
In: Digital economies at global margins. Cambridge: The MIT Press. - Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2019.

The importance of entrepreneurial competencies on the performance of women entrepreneurs in South Africa / Tola Zizile, Chimucheka Tendai.
In: Journal of Applied Business Research (JABR), volume 34, number 2, pages 223-236, 2018.

Informal entrepreneurship and cross-border trade between Zimbabwe and South Africa / Abel Chikanda. - South Africa: Southern African Migration Programme, cover 'Informal entrepreneurship and cross-border trade between Zimbabwe and South Africa '

Life and journey of an entrepreneur / Katongo Mulenga Maine. - Gadsden Publishers: Lusaka, 2017.

Empowering women - ending violence in Southern Africa : the GL funding for leadership and opportunities for Women (FLOW) porgramma 2012-2015 / ed. by Colleen Lowe Morna and Anne Hilton. - Gender Links: Johannesburg, 2016.

Gender and constraints to entrepreneurship in Africa: New evidence from Swaziland / Zuzana Brixiová, Thierry Kangoye.
In: Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2016, Vol.5, p.1-8, 2016.

Mulheres Empresárias, Género e Desenvolvimento em Luanda / Maria Carolina Quilombo Binga. - Lisboa: Universidade de Lisboa, 2016.

The psycho-social support ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in townships : barriers and enablers / Yogavelli Nambiar. - Pretoria: University of Pretoria, 2015.

Women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in agriculture : a case of Mashonaland West Province in Zimbabwe / by Evelyn Derera. - Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2015.

Overview of women entrepreneurs in South Africa / Fortunate Mandipaka.
In: Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, vol, 5, no. 9, pages 127-130, 2014.


Web resources

Professional associations 

Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum
AWIEF is an award-winning pan-African women economic empowerment organisation, that has been granted a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Lionesses of Africa
Lionesses of Africa social enterprise working to advance Africa’s women entrepreneurs, by building and delivering entrepreneur development programmes, mentoring programmes, business tools, digital media channels, community platforms, networking events and information resources.

Women in Africa
Women In Africa is a social impact company whose mission is to support African women entrepreneurs and leaders in their journey to impact the continent’s economy. WIA implements training and mentoring programmes, and WIA communicates extensively on the themes “*Women *Business *Africa”.

Ted talks by African women entrepreneurs

Jean Chawapiwa: Doing business African woman style, 2017

Temie Giwa-Tubosun: The funding gap in start-up investing, 2021

Achenyo Idachaba: How I turned a deadly plant into a thriving business, 2015

Magatte Wade: Why it's too hard to start a business in Africa -- and how to change it, 2017