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Culture, politics hinder women entrepreneurs success

Business Section

By Faith Shongwe - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-25-Aug-2009

IT has been suggested that there is need to remove socio-cultural, legal and political barriers for women entrepreneurs.

Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Hlobsile Ndlovu noted this during the ‘Believe, Begin, Become’ Youth Business Plan Competition final held at the House on Fire on Friday where Thobile Shongwe was announced the overall winner, taking away E100 000 in seed capital.

Ndlovu was represented by the ministry’s Director of Youth Affairs, Bheki Thwala. She said although women entrepreneurs were often overlooked in small enterprise development initiatives, they make a strong contribution to the economic well-being of their families and communities. She said these women were those operating micro and small businesses in the informal sector.

“I have noticed with concern that over the past two years, women have failed to impress the judges in winning the grand prize. Women participants only manage to win the category sectors,” she said. Ndlovu went on to say it was in this vein that she encouraged every woman to stand up and turn their business ideas into huge profits.

“They may often be overlooked in small enterprise development initiatives but women entrepreneurs operating micro and small businesses in the informal economy make a strong contribution to the economic well-being of their families and communities,” she said.

Ndlovu added; “We should, therefore, join hands to remove the socio-cultural, legal and political barriers for women entrepreneurship and to advocate for an enabling environment for business development and gender equality.”


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