By Ashleigh Jinjika
Access to capital is widely considered a key accelerator for business productivity and growth.
Gender discrimination against entrepreneurs, who form the largest sector of the labor force in Zimbabwe , may drive gender gaps in access to capital and subsequently reduce the performance of female-owned businesses.
This raises concerns about both gender equity and economic growth. Due to discrimination, capital may not be allocated to the most productive businesses, which would, in turn, reduce economic growth.
The trend in Zimbabwe’s financial providers sector reveals discrimination against female entrepreneurs when evaluating their business’ productivity.
In some instances female owned businesses or projects are trivialised and doubted their sustainability, hence the regrets in accessing financial assistance in forms of loans.
However, the implications of discrimination for financial providers’ ability to “pick winners” and successfully allocate capital to the most productive businesses because of gender is a cause for concern in developing countries like Zimbabwe.
There is need for a complete change of the mindset and subsequently much awareness and sensitisation to be done if the country has to fully address the issue.