Article by Irene Skrynova, Chief Customer Officer, Unlimited
An entrepreneur’s journey is not always the same for everyone as it can be influenced by many factors, including interactions with digital technologies, commercial networks and financial services.
These experiences are not immune to gender-based influences. Access to digital tools, commercial resources, and financial literacy can impact the opportunities and challenges that individuals (both men and women) face as they pursue entrepreneurship.
In some ways, digital entrepreneurship, as a byproduct of fintech solutions, has emerged as a key enabling factor for women’s financial inclusion.
In recent years, the rise of digital entrepreneurs has been remarkable, and women are leading the trend.
This is due to the opening of new business opportunities and increased economic participation of women.
With increased access to digital technology and financial services, women are overcoming barriers and developing innovative solutions to address social challenges.
As access to digital technology and financial services increases, more barriers will be removed.
These digital financial services, including mobile banking, online lending and crowdfunding platforms, enable women to access financing and grow their businesses without facing the traditional obstacles of gender bias and limited networks. Now
However, despite significant progress in recent years, women continue to face significant barriers to digital entrepreneurship opportunities and access to financial services. These issues are often multifaceted and span several challenges, including underrepresentation, limited access to funding, lack of digital skills, and discriminatory legal and cultural norms.
Globally, women entrepreneurs face a $1.5 trillion credit gap, according to a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). only 16% of
Let’s explore what strategies can be adopted to address these challenges and who are the key stakeholders needed to effectively implement them.
Bridging the Gender Gap in Digital Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion
The gender gap in digital entrepreneurship and financial inclusion is a complex issue that requires a multi-pronged approach.
The focus needs to evolve from finding generic solutions to addressing the unique requirements of specific communities. One such approach is education.
Especially in sub-Saharan Africa, women face greater obstacles as they progress to higher levels of education, leading many to pursue informal ambitions.
As a result, women have fewer income-earning opportunities and are more likely than men to be unemployed, in informal employment or in low-paying jobs. However, education serves as a tool for advocacy, providing access to resources and training schemes, showing how women’s participation in the economy can be transformed.
For example, in 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will work with the Women in Africa Initiative (WIA) to promote digital entrepreneurship and digital literacy among African women in the field of artificial intelligence. offered an online course.
It is also important to address cultural barriers that limit women’s access to digital entrepreneurship and financial services.
This extends to challenging gender stereotypes, increasing women’s representation in leadership positions, and promoting women’s economic empowerment at the policy level. Furthermore, encouraging gender-disaggregated data collection is essential to understanding the needs and experiences of women in digital entrepreneurship and financial inclusion.
This will help identify gaps and barriers and inform the design and implementation of policies and programs to foster the development of digital entrepreneurship and women’s financial inclusion.
The Africa Gender Data Book published by the African Development Bank Group (AFDB) in 2019 is a good example.
This provided AFDB’s regional member countries with a gender-specific data collection tool that could ultimately support the formulation of government policies that promote women’s empowerment and financial inclusion.
Promoting purposeful, results-driven partnerships or collaborations among various stakeholders, including governments, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, and civil society, is an important way to bridge the gender gap. An immeasurable contribution.
Cooperation among various individuals and groups is essential to bring about the necessary institutional change.
Ultimately, promoting positive representation includes building a more inclusive space and engaging authentic voices that truly represent underserved communities.
Many companies recognize the importance of this and are actively working to create a more authentic and representative environment for women entrepreneurs. I’m sorry.