Implications of Access to Microcredit and Social Capital for Female Entrepreneurship in Cameroon

"This study investigates the effects of microcredit and social capital on female entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Specifically, we (a) construct a social capital indicator for Cameroon; (b) identify individual and community characteristics that affect female entrepreneurship; and (c) compare welfare outcomes for female entrepreneurs having access to both social capital and credit with those of their counterparts who do not have such access in Cameroon. To achieve these objectives use is made of the 2007 Cameroon household consumption survey undertaken by the National institute of Statistics. The methodologies adopted for this study are the Multiple Correspondence analyses, a Logit model, and poverty and inequality dominance analyses. Results indicate that microcredit and social capital increase the probability of female entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Other variables that increase the probability of being a female entrepreneur are literacy, health, experience, proportion of active household members and access to electricity. On the other hand, variables that reduce this possibility are corruption,unemployment levels, household size, years of schooling and working in the formal sector. In addition, welfare levels among female entrepreneurs with access to both microcredit and social capital dominate that of those with neither access to social capital nor access to credit. The indication is that promoting microcredit access and networking among women would be instrumental in encouraging female entrepreneurship in Cameroon. These together with government efforts at promoting one-stop shops for business facilitation are likely to ameliorate the investment climate, encourage female entrepreneurs to increasingly venture into formal sector activities, reduce poverty and instigate pro-poor growth."