Hawken states that Africa was recently rated as having one of the highest numbers of women entrepreneurs in the world and 25 per cent of women on the continent set up businesses in various sectors.

“Because things are happening, whether you are an entrepreneur or taking a corporate career, it is a good place to be a woman entrepreneur and that is the same across the continent,” she said.

“Where women see that the opportunities don’t exist, they are looking to see what resources are available on the ground and how they can create new businesses, new opportunities, new community projects that will actually have a major impact and I think that is the difference.”

However the lack of gender parity and gender lens funding in numerous sectors on the continent is among the many issues that need to be addressed as we move towards creating a level playing field.

“Gender lens investing is a really a hot topic right now and I think – because access to finance is probably the thing I hear most mentioned by women entrepreneurs – getting access to finance when you’re a woman is tough – I think that is the reality,” said Hawken.

Hawken says women are taking control of that now where they are reinvesting in women – a sort of gender lens investing of their own.

This story was first posted here. Women entrepreneurs bridging the gender gap. Photo: www.sairec.org.za