Female Entrepreneurship, Access to Credit and Firms' Performance in Senegal

There has been a noticeable improvement in female entrepreneurship in Senegal. From 2007 to 2014, the total share of female-owned firms in the country has grown from 23.8% to 32.1%. The share of female entrepreneurs in new start-ups, in particular, has increased from 25% in 2000 to 38.1% in 2010. In addition, because female-owned firms tend to employ 16.2% more workers (especially women) than their male-owned counterparts, promoting female entrepreneurship can contribute to expanding the productive base of the economy, reducing unemployment and alleviating poverty.Despite such potential economic and social benefits, there is still a wide belief that female entrepreneurs are discriminated against in Senegal, especially when it comes to access to credit. In this study, local researchers aim to assess whether female entrepreneurs face discrimination in credit access in Senegal, and how it may affect firms’ performance.