|dc.description.abstract||Given good conditions, women can run businesses, support their families and the
community, and contribute to economic growth. The lack of women’s involvement in
entrepreneurship is a huge loss to the nation and society. Women make up 51.83% of the
population in Rwanda, but are underrepresented in business – largely due to social customs,
religion, and cultural beliefs. Society perceives women as too weak to conduct business, and
prefers them to be confined to housekeeping activities and dependency on men.
Interestingly, literature indicates that involving women in entrepreneurial activities help.
Despite this, women in Rwanda have broken the barrier and started up business. However,
they face many challenges; their businesses remain small scale compared to their
counterparts. The aim of this study is to determine the challenges experienced by women
entrepreneurs in Kigali. This research is significant because it attempts to identify the
challenges to entrepreneurship in Kigali, by allowing the voices of women entrepreneurs to
The study uses a quantitative descriptive approach. The target population was women in
formal and informal business in the districts of Gasabo, Kicukiro, and Nyarugenge in the city
of Kigali. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to obtain data from 398
women entrepreneurs after obtaining their informed written consent. The data was analysed
using recent Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24. Findings were
interpreted and discussed in a numerical narrative featuring frequency, percent, valid
percent, cumulative percent, mean, and standard deviation.
The results show that women entrepreneurs in Kigali experience more challenges, among
others including: High shop rentals, lack of start-up capital, lack of collateral to obtain a loan,
high taxes, high interest rate and high transport, and a lack of information technology skills.
This study has uncovered that women entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges while running
their business in Kigali. Fortunately, the solution is within reach. For instance, women
entrepreneurs themselves, family, society, government, stakeholder, and researchers should
work together to eradicate these challenges. Women entrepreneurs should work together in
cooperatives to minimise shop rentals, possible access to capital and so forth. In addition,
they can leverage their experience and know-how.||en_US