Accelerating the role of women in society by empowering female-owned businesses
Zambia has seen significant growth in the SME sector in the last few years with a particular rise in the number of women entrepreneurs. Zambia is ranked in the top three countries in sub-Saharan Africa for female majority-owned small businesses and in the top seven for small to medium-sized female majority owned businesses (World Bank, 2019).
Women in Zambia are stepping up to the plate in all markets, including those traditionally considered to be male dominated markets, like mining, medical and pharmaceuticals and earth moving equipment supplies. MTN Zambia fully supports female entrepreneurs, through specific programmes and enabling products and services. In 2019 MTN Zambia’s “I am an SME” campaign highlighted women running businesses in all segments and sectors of the economy from selling charcoal in your back yard to owning fully fledged medium-sized businesses.
Through partnerships with a number of bank’s we focused on capacity building by providing financial management skills as well as financing for the most up to date digitally enabled devices, and the entrepreneurs each receive personal advice on the products best suited to their business.
MTN’s products and services are the foundation of many small businesses in Africa, effectively lowering the barriers to entry and streamlining operations. Access to social media platforms and websites provide the opportunity to showcase their products and services and MoMo makes the transfer and receiving of money easy.
Entrepreneurs report time and cost savings in making mobile payments, and considerable efficiency improvements in their logistics and customer service, all at the touch of a button on their mobile phone.
Financial inclusion for women in Africa is a potent driver of change. Digital financial services have the power to maximise gender equality, increase earning opportunities and address poverty and hunger, all of which will strengthen the social fabric.