Skills, gender and productive entrepreneurship in Africa
Mina Baliamoune-Lutz , Zuzana Brixiova , and Mthuli Ncube
Theoretical studies on the gender gaps in productive entrepreneurship that could inform policymaking in Africa have been scarce. This paper contributes to closing this gap with a model linking entrepreneurship to skills, productivity, and formality. The model shows that differences in skills, including ICT skills, together with greater opportunity cost for women, can lead to gender gaps in entrepreneurial outcomes. The results are consistent with the findings from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys for African countries. The model also helps explain why narrow business training programs for women have had a limited success. Training for women entrepreneurs that encompasses business skills, technical skills, networking, and confidence building, together with lifting women’s time constraints, may be more effective.