African Women-Owned businesses are faring better than expected with relatively high levels of resilience despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, a new report funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) shows.
Women entrepreneurs surveyed indicated that their businesses were resilient during the height of the pandemic. According to the report, fifteen percent of the respondents stated that their businesses were not impacted by the pandemic at all; 44% had already recovered or expected to by end of 2021; and 34% expected to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels during 2022. Only 5% projected their business recovery to happen sometime in 2023 or beyond.
The African Development Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Beth Dunford, in the report’s foreword, stated that the report wouldn’t have come at a better time than now as it presents inspirations to Women-led businesses to weather the storms of the pandemic.
“The Lionesses Business Confidence Report comes at an opportune time. The report gives voice through data to the extraordinary African women entrepreneur role models who serve as an inspiration to other African women business builders as they respond to the ongoing challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic”.Dr. Beth Dunford
The Lionesses Business Confidence Report was prepared by the Lionesses of Africa Public Benefit Corporation and New York University and shares insights derived from a survey of Africa’s leading women entrepreneurs. The report was published to coincide with the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, 2022.
The Lionesses Business Confidence Report
The report was financed by The African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative.
The report focuses on four areas: the impact of Covid-19 on business performance; how leading women entrepreneurs financed their companies’ activities and from where they sourced these funds; the importance of digital transformation in the pandemic era; and how Covid-19 significantly changed women entrepreneurs’ business operations.
Lionesses of Africa Founder and CEO, Melanie Hawken, also indicated that the The Lionesses Business Confidence Report provides a unique view of the African economy from the perspective of these leading women entrepreneurs.
“The report illuminates how these women-led businesses performed through the height of the pandemic, their performance against expectations, and their current response to its ongoing impact. The report makes for insightful and encouraging reading”.Melanie Hawken
The report leverages Lionesses of Africa’s established 100 Lionesses network, a project that identifies and celebrates leading African businesswomen who, by example, inspire other women to pursue their dreams to found successful businesses.
AFAWA manager, Esther Dassanou, spoke about AFAWA’s collaboration with the Lionesses of Africa organization to launch the report and its applications for women entrepreneurs to access finance.
“The African Development Bank, through its AFAWA initiative, is committed to accelerating women entrepreneurs’ ability to access finance and the required knowledge to get back on their growth path. The Bank is also committed to working with African governments to ensure that inclusive policies are in place to enhance women entrepreneurs’ ability to access financing and trade. This report is an excellent stakeholder resource as we work toward achieving these commitments” .Esther Dassanou