• alfredvdmerwe

DreamGirls and the future for female entrepreneurs in South Africa

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

Another kind of “Urbanpreneur”

The emergence of a growing community of women entrepreneurs has been described as one of the most significant economic and social developments in the world (SBP, 2013). As urban planners it is well understood that creating enabling environments for entrepreneurship, specifically female entrepreneurship can have far reaching positive impacts on the socio-economic landscape of a country.

The latest figures from the 2017/2018 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) show that 13 out of every 100 South African men are involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity, compared to just 9 out of every 100 women. Additionally, research indicates that in South Africa, female entrepreneurship tends to focus on the informal sector.

It is with this understanding of the benefits and impact of female entrepreneurship that CITEPLAN’s own Eriva Nanyonjo applied for the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Dreambuilder Programme 2019/2020, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) implemented locally by DreamGirls Academy. AWE was developed to support the White House-led Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which is designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential, creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. The target is to reach 50 million women by 2025 by promoting an enabling environment that reduces barriers and facilitates women’s participation in the economy. The program is implemented in Africa, South America, Caribbean and Oceania.

Out of over 1000 applicants a total of 105 women in the STEM, Commercial and Creative fields were selected for the pilot programme with a full year’s scholarship. Under this programme the women will embark on a journey of personal and professional development, be educated on aspects of running a business, networking, funding and mentorship. AWE main objective is to support female entrepreneurs in South Africa to ensure that they grow and thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

We wish Eriva all the best on this journey and look forward to the additional insights she will bring to CITEPLAN.


2018. Global entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA). 2017/2018 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM): Global Report. Accessed from: https://www.gemconsortium.org/report/gem-2017-2018-global-report

2013. SBP. Alert: Understanding Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa. Issue Paper 3.

Author: Istell Orton

29 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All