The pandemic affected female employers to the extent that Covid-19 negatively affected their revenues by 82%. More than two-thirds reported that they had either reduced their own salaries or stopped paying a salary to themselves; and as employers had to make several changes to their staffing. Over half (58%) froze new hires, 41% reduced staff hours and wages, and a half laid off staff — 22% laid off permanently and 26% temporarily.
Despite this, South Africa’s women entrepreneurs expressed optimism about their revenue outlook for the remainder of 2021, with 76% of respondents expecting to increase their revenues. South Africa’s women entrepreneurs report a strong dedication to their communities and see a role for themselves and other women entrepreneurs in creating jobs. The motivations in launching their business enterprises reflect their interests in supporting themselves and their families as well as their commitment to uplifting others.
According to Pertunia Sibanyoni, Fasa’s chairperson and CEO of InspectaCar, the franchise business model is one that allows anyone to get into business for themselves but not by themselves and more women are finding a business home in the franchise world and paving the way for others to do the same.
“As the country celebrates Women’s Month this August, it is encouraging to see how many strong women are heading up franchises or are successful franchisees – a figure that stood at over 30% in the 2019 Fasa survey,” says Sibanyoni.
Lindy Barbour, director of The Franchise Firm believes that franchising offers a relatively low-risk barrier to entry, especially for women starting out as entrepreneurs. “The benefits of skills transfer and the ongoing support of the franchisor make it far more attractive than pursuing an independent start-up. Add to that the fact that women set very high standards for themselves and are generally more detail-orientated, and you have a formula for success,” says Barbour.
Participating in Fasa's virtual conference and giving a global perspective will be some leading international businesswomen, including: