Journal Article

Africa’s businesswomen – underfunded or underperforming?


  • Ackah
  • C.
  • Görg
  • H.
  • Hanley
  • A.
  • Hornok
  • C.
Publication Date

While the recent success of Africa’s ‘Lionesses’ – successful female entrepreneurs – is internationally celebrated, less is known about how liquidity can fuel the success of the ‘Lionesses’ and other businesswomen. Using information from a panel of over 800 male- and female-owned businesses in Ghana (ISSER-IGC survey), we capture a measure of underfunding, in addition to data on supplier credit, equity and other finance sources. Our regressions reveal a female-to-male productivity gap of between − 11 and − 19 per cent, values similar to estimates for other African countries. However, when financial constraints are taken into account, the gender performance gap disappears. Accordingly, female business owners who indicate that funding is not a problem are associated with higher productivity than males, all things equal. In a finding new to the literature, our regressions reveal the importance of supplier credit for Africa’s businesswomen.


JEL Classification
D22, J16, L26

Key Words

  • Female-owned businesses
  • Liquidity
  • Productivity
  • Supplier credit
  • Africa
  • Ghana