In HerMaP Africa,HerMaP Gambia,News,Opinion pieces

Embracing Ownership and Driving Sustainable Development: Women’s Entrepreneurship in The Gambia

By Mina Morou*

Women’s entrepreneurship in The Gambia has experienced remarkable growth, empowering women and catalyzing positive societal change. From supportive collectives in rural areas to innovative ventures across sectors, women entrepreneurs are breaking barriers and leading the charge towards a more inclusive and prosperous future.

A noteworthy example of this progress is the establishment of supportive collectives in rural areas, where women pool funds from their entrepreneurial endeavors to provide support within their group. This fosters solidarity, sisterhood, and shared responsibility, offering not just financial aid but also emotional support and knowledge exchange. During our work for HerMaP Gambia, we witnessed firsthand the impactful role of women collectives in promoting women’s entrepreneurship in The Gambia. These collectives serve as networks of support, fostering collaboration, shared experiences, and mutual assistance. They create an enabling environment that empowers women entrepreneurs to thrive in their ventures.

It is very encouraging that recent research shows most women employed in Micro – SME’s state that a range of opportunities such as micro-financing and business development opportunities like training and coaching are available to them in the country.

Women’s entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in driving sustainable development, contributing to economic growth, employment opportunities, and innovation. Moreover, women entrepreneurs prioritize community development by supporting local suppliers and investing in socially impactful initiatives such as sustainable agriculture and tourism.

However, women entrepreneurs in The Gambia face challenges including limited access to finance, cultural biases, and gender inequalities. Overcoming these obstacles requires collective efforts from the government, private sector, and civil society. It is crucial to provide targeted financial support, offer business training and mentorship programs, and promote gender-responsive policies.

Creating an enabling environment is essential for fostering women’s entrepreneurship. This involves ensuring equal opportunities for education and skills development, addressing infrastructural gaps, and challenging gender stereotypes. By encouraging women, fostering supportive networks, and creating favorable conditions, The Gambia can unlock the full potential of women entrepreneurs.

Women’s entrepreneurship in The Gambia is a potent catalyst for economic growth, social transformation, and sustainable development. By celebrating their achievements and continuously advocating for women’s entrepreneurship, we can build a more equitable and prosperous society for all. It is through the collective efforts of various stakeholders that we can ensure the thriving of women’s entrepreneurship, both within The Gambia and beyond its borders. HERITΛGE actively contributes to this mission by providing targeted training and mentorship programs that address the specific needs of women entrepreneurs, equipping them with the essential skills and knowledge for entrepreneurial success.

*Mina Morou is HERITΛGE’s African Programs Manager

HERITΛGE actively contributes to women entrepreneurship, through HerMaP Gambia, which is co – funded by the European Union.

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