Gender and Constraints to Entrepreneurship in Africa: New Evidence from Swaziland

15 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Zuzana Brixiova

Zuzana Brixiova

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department; African Development Bank

Thierry Kangoye

African Development Bank


This paper contributes to closing a knowledge gap on gender, entrepreneurship and development by linking the entrepreneurial productivity to start-up capital and skills. The empirical analysis of a survey of entrepreneurs in Swaziland confirmed the importance of start-up capital for sales. Women entrepreneurs have smaller start-up capital and are less likely to fund it from the formal sector than their men counterparts, pointing to a possible room for policy interventions. Further, business training is positively associated with sales performance of men entrepreneurs, but has no effect on women. However, this does not call for abolishing training programs for women entrepreneurs. Instead their design and targeting should be revisited.

Keywords: gender and entrepreneurship, start-up capital, skills, training, multivariate analysis

JEL Classification: L53, O12

Suggested Citation

Brixiova, Zuzana and Kangoye, Thierry, Gender and Constraints to Entrepreneurship in Africa: New Evidence from Swaziland. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9273, Available at SSRN: or

Zuzana Brixiova (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department ( email )

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African Development Bank ( email )

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Thierry Kangoye

African Development Bank ( email )

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