Female entrepreneurship: Lack of funding, main obstacle to project development (survey) | Tunisia News Gazette

Female entrepreneurship: Lack of funding, main obstacle to project development (survey)

Access to funds, bureaucracy, lack of support, sexism and family-related constraints are the main obstacles to the development of entrepreneurship projects for women, according to the outcomes of a survey conducted on about 160 female entrepreneurs or project owners by Entrepreneurs’ Adventures (AE), an advocacy project designed and implemented by the Tunisia Entreprendre Network (RET) and Cogite coworking space.

The goal of this survey (March-April 2017) is to define the main challenges facing women entrepreneurs as they represent only 10% of the entrepreneurs population in Tunisia.

According to the survey, the lack of funding and taking financial risk is the major obstacle to the development of entrepreneurial projects. In fact, 68% of female entrepreneurs do not have the funds they need so as to start their enterprises.

In general, women do not own properties so they do not have effective guarantees to present in order to receive a loan in addition to the complexity and slowness of banking procedures which can become reasons to deter a lot of women from starting an entrepreneurial project.

Moreover, 55% of the interviewed entrepreneurs have cited the administrative delays as an obstacle to their entrepreneurial activities.

Women entrepreneurs are also confronted with a lack of support as 75% of those interviewed did not have the opportunity nor the possibility to benefit from a support in the creation of their enterprises.

In addition, 59.4% of women entrepreneurs, especially in west-central regions of Tunisia, were victims of discrimination during their projects’ planning steps.

As for the project itself, 16% of the interviewed women said that they lack skills to better manage their enterprises. These business managers are facing various difficulties in terms of staff management and product marketing, and, sometimes, a certain mistrust from their clients.

As for family-related constraints, the survey revealed that in Tunisia the main issue for women entrepreneurs is managing both their enterprises and their families with little help from their spouses.

Finding adequate balance between work and family remains a real challenge for nowadays women, the interviewed women said.

Pregnancy, childbirth and infant care significantly affect women, unlike men. These constraints are further compounded if the spouses do not support their wives’ work.

Some female entrepreneurs also face a lack of legitimacy. According to the survey, around 11% of the interviewed women fear a lack of legitimacy. For cultural reasons, a female leader is more likely to be questioned about her legitimacy.

Source: TAP News Agency

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