- ---educating, inspiring and connecting African female entrepreneurs
The International Institute Of Female Entrepreneurship (IIFEM) is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-political and non-sectarian organization of women whose activities at national and international levels are aimed at promoting women entrepreneurship.
IIFEM is an international professional association designed for females who are willing to acquire skills and abilities that can help to create and manage new business enterprises or be used as members of an existing organisation which is calling upon employees to act in an entrepreneurial way. It is also aimed at enhancing the skills and abilities of potential female entrepreneurs, in particular those willing to be part of the SMEs’ sector, by addressing a wide range of operational, managerial, marketing, financial and leadership issues within an entrepreneurial context.
Our members would be provided with information, knowledge, skills, and attitudes that would enable them perform well as classic entrepreneurs (those driven by desire for financial independence, freedom, own boss, challenge, creativity, success, control, responsibility, decisions, more money, less tax and opportunity alertness).
Our expectation is that these competencies will in turn help them deploy their zeal for nation building in a very efficient manner as anything short of that will be handling Nigerian problems of repositioning the women with kid gloves.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126millions women operating new businesses and another 98millions at the helm of established ones. Yet we face a huge equality gap. In only seven countries—Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico and Uganda—do women take part in business at rates equal to men’s; in some countries, like Pakistan, they barely take part at all. Even when women are active business owners, they do not reach their potential: women own almost three in ten American firms, yet employ only 6% of the country’s workforce and account for barely 4% of business revenues..
According to Kauffman’s researchers, women entrepreneurs tend to face more significant obstacles when it comes to starting their own businesses than their male counterparts, although they bring unique abilities to entrepreneurship as well, such as a more sophisticated approach to taking risks, the brief says, including not being overconfident and not putting their employees at risk. And if the economy expects to fire on all cylinders to produce jobs and growth, more women have to start their own businesses. Identified chief obstacles to women entrepreneurship are:
Much of entrepreneurship is experiential, so teachers are important. Yet when it comes to mentors, fewer exist for women. This may be a “chicken or egg” problem, as there are fewer women-owned businesses to start out with.
When it comes to funding, women on average start their businesses with half as much capital as men. They also have only a 30 percent chance of attracting angel and venture capital funding.
Women entrepreneurs face invisible barriers, based solely on gender. One recent study, conducted by UC Santa Barbara, asked participants to evaluate nearly identical business plans from entrepreneurs whose gender was made obvious. Support for plans formulated by women was less strong than for men's, unless the women's plans had an unusual bias toward innovation.
To remedy the situation, Kauffman is urging more women to become involved as mentors, and for organizations that support entrepreneurship to include more women leaders. Hence,the establishment of African Society for Female Entrepreneurship by Institute of Classic Entrepreneurs. It is our aim to help turn the tide in the perceptual challenges that women entrepreneurs face