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Renew Capital’s East Africa Investment Survey Results
- Women-owned Company Growth Lags Behind - The survey showed that female entrepreneurs continued to lag behind their male counterparts in building high revenue companies. Male-owned companies in the sample were able to hire more employees and began experiencing higher revenues at an earlier phase. While majority female-owned companies appeared to catch up as they grew, they fell behind in revenue again by the time they reached maturity.
- Companies are Missing Regional Trade Opportunities - Approximately half of the companies in the sample have yet to take advantage of the broader regional market through cross-border trade. In addition, SMEs reported difficulty accessing capital and consistently reported access to markets as one of the most significant barriers to growth. Infrastructure issues and skilled management were also frequently reported as primary barriers to growth.
- No Surprise, Entrepreneurs are Optimistic - Despite these barriers, entrepreneurs remained optimistic about the economic outlook. Most companies expressed a basic level of security about economic prospects within their countries as well as across the region. Even politically, few companies predicted that the economic situation in their country or region would deteriorate.