Lack of business skills and information about the available opportunities in the sector are among the factors undermining women in business.
This was disclosed on Tuesday in Kigali, during a three-day workshop that brought together 50 women entrepreneurs among others.
Organised by the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, the workshop aims to strengthen the capacity of women in Rwanda who are running businesses.
According to a trainee, Diana Gakwandi, from Centre for Education Network, women in business still lack the entrepreneurial skills, specifically about financing, interacting with clients which affect their performances, adding that there is hope that the training will play a significant role towards their improvement.
Eugenie Mushimiyimana, from the Private Sector Federation and owner of Mamu Tower Company, said that the main challenge was lack of knowledge.
“Sometimes, we start busines with the intention of earning money, but some women entrepreneurs lack the skills to productively and effectively run their business. This doesn’t only affect their own projects but also our clients, partners, and tax authorities among others. We expect, the trainees to share with their colleagues the skills acquired to address such challenges,” Mushimiyimana said.
A 2014 report by the National Institute of Statistics in Rwanda indicated that only 26.8 per cent of sole proprietorship establishments are owned by women.
Professor Murray Low, Columbia Entrepreneurship Program Founder, who is a trainer at the workshop, said that once the trainees are well equipped with skills it would help their businesses to grow effectively. He added that more workshops will be organised across the continent to enable women in business to contribute to the SDGs.
Belay E. Begashaw, the Director-General for Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, said that they ensure that women in business get experience to have vibrant business plans and strategies.
“Empowering a woman is a cornerstone of SDGs and this should be done in all sectors, politics, and economy, among 0thers. We shall link women with the business opportunities across the continent. There are different gaps for women in business but also opportunities.”
“Rwanda has progressed for e-market, African countries have signed a major agreement on free trade East African region provides similar platforms. These are opportunities. We need all women to be prepared for such opportunities and empower them to overcome the challenges the face,” Begashaw added.