Women Entrepreneurship and Growth of SMEs in Bukavu Town- Democratic Republic of Congo
The Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in all economies. They help to create the majority of jobs and account for over 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most countries. This contribution has an effect on the economic and social well-being ofan environment and also impacts a country’s growth. Indeed, the growth of SMEs is the result of a veritable management decision where entrepreneurship remains a key component. It is recognized that both men and women entrepreneurs play a significant role in the growth of firms managed by them. The sector of women entrepreneurship depends both on the situation of women and the place of entrepreneurship in a society. It is recognized as a source of economic growth insufficiently exploited and took an important place in most of industrialized countries and also the specific characteristics (micro enterprise) in developing countries. Nowadays, firms under women management are increasing quickly in Bukavu town. Despite the raising number of SMEs in Bukavu town and their contribution in the economy of the town, women entrepreneurs face the limited access to adequate financial resources because of discrimination and gender issues. Women entrepreneurs are also facing the insufficient human and social capital necessary to facilitate the growth of their SMEs. Given these multiple problems, the present study aims to find whether SMEs managed by women show growth and explains the relationship between women entrepreneurship and the growth of SMEs in Bukavu town in the Republic of Cong. Data used in this study were collected from women entrepreneurs of SMEs in Bukavu town using a structured questionnaire based on previous studies. The collected data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics and the Binomial Logistic Regression.
The finding confirms that SMEs managed by women show a positive growth in sales (turnover) and a low growth of employment. The woman as an entrepreneur had a positive and significant relationship with the activity sector and a negative and significant relationship with growth in turnover. In addition, women entrepreneurs also showed insufficient social capital and financial resources needed to grow their business.
Keywords - SME, Women Entrepreneur, Growth of SME, Bukavu Town