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Skills, gender and productive entrepreneurship in Africa

Author

Mina Baliamoune-Lutz , Zuzana Brixiova , and Mthuli Ncube 

Abstract

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.

Integrating Africa’s Workforce

If African countries are to transform structurally and integrate regionally, African workers and talents must be able to explore job opportunities and skills transfer across industries and across borders.

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Conference Venue

United Nations Conference Centre, Addis Ababa

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