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Digital Solutions Empowering Women-Led Businesses and Fostering Formal Sector Transition.

This article, co-authored by Paul Baker and Zahraa Beeharry for the Charles Telfair Centre, sheds light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on informal workers and businesses in Mauritius.

In a study conducted by International Economics Consulting Ltd, it was revealed that nearly half of the respondents' revenue in the informal sector declined by over 60% during the pandemic.

Women, who make up a significant portion of the informal workforce in Mauritius, were disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to lower salaries, job insecurity, and limited access to training and finance. The article emphasises the challenges women-led businesses face in accessing finance, particularly during crises, and explores the potential of digital solutions in empowering women and facilitating their transition to the formal sector.

By utilising alternative data and digital platforms, such as mobile money, women-led businesses can gain easier access to finance, promote business growth, and move towards formalizing their operations. The article highlights the importance of digitalisation in providing women with greater control over their financial lives, accessing loans and credit, and increasing financial inclusion.

The authors propose recommendations for Mauritius, including

  • Improving access to finance;

  • Adopting a gender-sensitive approach to financial borrowing; and

  • Promoting digital and business literacy among women.

By addressing the challenges of informality and access to credit, Mauritius can empower women-led businesses and drive economic growth.

For more insights, please read the full article that can be accessed on Charles Telfair Centre's website.


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