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Exploring the Finance Pipeline for Women Owned SMMEs in SA

Women-owned businesses are receiving a lot of attention around the world as potential catalysts of growth, job creation and economic development. In the United States, where data is more readily available, there are 8.3 million women-owned businesses which employ 6% of the country’s workforce and account for 29% of all enterprises. Over a ten-year period (from 2002-2012), these businesses grew by 28.6% which outpaced the growth of all small businesses nationwide. In emerging markets, a mapping exercise conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and McKinsey in 2011 found that there are approximately 8 to 10 million formal womenowned small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which represent 31 to 38 percent of all small businesses. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the dynamism of SMEs as signifi cant contributors to GDP is evident in many countries and the proportion of male-owned businesses to female-owned businesses is almost the same with women showing high rates of entrepreneurial activity.

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