Women owned and run businesses are highly likely to fail. This is according to the annual Adult Population Survey. The adult population survey, (APS) annually conducts a survey of a random representative sample of at least 2,000 adults (aged 18-64 years). The surveys are conducted at the same time of a year (generally between April and June), using a standardised questionnaire developed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) consortium. The APS is conducted either by an independent research vendor, chosen by each economy’s GEM team based on the evaluation of the vendors research proposal or by the members of `gem national team. The team, which conducted this year’s survey, was selected from some of the highly esteemed academics from the University of Botswana.
In this context, the University of Botswana, through the faculty of business took membership of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in 2012 to do research on entrepreneurship in Botswana. The GEM National Team for 2012 consisted of a ten member academic crew from staff of the faculty of business drawn from various disciplines across the different departments.
According to this research women enterprises have the highest incidences of business discontinuance as compared to male owned businesses. The reason behind this is that most women go out of business because their enterprises are just not profitable. Another problem is that women owned businesses go out of businesses because the exit was planned in advance. Another reason is that women plan their exits well in advance, which increases their opportunities to go ahead and sell the business. According to Professor Yohanna Mashalla, the acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs at the University of Botswana, out of 80 respondents, more than half of the women interviewed during this survey are struggling to maintain their businesses.
Prior to the women’s business expo, which is currently on going this week, Professor Mashalla suggested that women must learn to be persistent in business. He said that evident from the research is that the disproportionate distribution of the importance of the reason for business discontinuance across the gender dimension.
“Female entrepreneurs are most gravely affected by all but two factors, which implicate that, an opportunity to sell the business is more exploited by males than females, and the impact is equitably distributed between males and females,” he concluded.