The president of the Women in Business Association (WIBA), Tumi Mbaakanyi, has revealed that funding continues to haunt women in business.
Mbaakanyi said financial institutions continue to shy away from funding women and this has hampered women development in business.
“Financial institutions should explore ways they can help women gain access to financial services,” said Mbaakanyi.
She said about┬á75 percent of SMMEs operating in Botswana are owned by women and these range from catering companies, transport, and manufacturing.
Mbaakanyi noted that women constitute a greater percent of the informal sector in Botswana.
“Women need to transition from informal to formal status and be able to participate in regional trade,” she said. “We don’t have women participating in key sectors of the economy like mining, construction, ICT, Waste management,” she said.
It is Mbaakanyi’s expectation to see women venture into big business and compete with other women in the region.
In addition, she said another challenge that continues to hamper growth in women’s business is lack of proper networking, adding that this has culminated in women led businesses failing to reach full potential.
“Women are not involved in networks that are not investment worth,” said Mbaakanyi. She said WIBA has started the Golf Clinic to promote interaction that will promote investment.
She added that balancing professional life and social life is not easy hence men are always a step ahead.
“Resilience needs to be uncalculated in women because women give up easily,” she said.
WIBA was formed as an independent non-government organization through the initiative of BOCCIM and some few small scale businesswomen. The concern was that, although women-owned businesses in Botswana constitute about 75 percent of the Small Medium and Micro Enterprises, those women had no forum where they could meet and share ideas.