Women entrepreneurs share their climb to success

Celebrating female entrepreneurship, UNCTAD on 21 November launched a publication entitled “Women in Business, building purpose-driven enterprises amid crises”.

Female farmers’ empowerment contributes to the fight against climate change. It tells the stories of 21 women from developing countries who overcame adversity to establish successful businesses after receiving training from UNCTAD’s flagship capacity-building program, Empretec.

Since 1988, Empretec has trained over 500,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries. Currently, the program has 41 national business development centres around the world, with 40 international master trainers and 600 local certified trainers.

Overcoming gender stereotypes

Personal entrepreneurial competencies are critical for scaling up businesses and steering them in new directions.

“If you want to change the world, you have to change yourself first,” said Uneiza Ali Issufo, who founded ConsMoz, a dynamic construction company in Mozambique, overcoming gender stereotypes as she broke into a male-dominated industry.

Family support is also important as women entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, Where Joyce Kyalema of Uganda credits her success to her father, who provided her with a good education. She has built a pumpkin business called JOSMAK International from the ground up, assisting rural women in feeding their families and increasing their income.

Women supporting each other

Angelica Magdalen Rumsey of Zambia founded Angel Bites, which began as a takeaway food delivery service and later evolved into a multi-product shop selling local produce. She is determined to pass on her knowledge to help nurture younger female entrepreneurs, having overcome gender bias to achieve success.

Fatou Gaye, the founder of The Gambia’s Gaye Njorro Skills Academy, is also a mentor to young female entrepreneurs. She said “If a woman is supported, a nation is built” Because a woman will support another one and whomever they come across.