Intro about the Country
Burundi is a ‘low opportunity’ economy in the heart of the African continent (great lake region). The country is small
and overpopulated with more than 10 million people divided into three ethnic groups: the Hutus (about 84%), the
Tutsis (about 15%) and the Twas (1%).
With an urbanisation rate of only 7%, Burundi is essentially rural. Furthermore, Burundi’s location in the tropics,
where malaria and other debilitating tropical diseases are prevalent, imposes a heavy constraint on the country’s
Burundi is landlocked and dependent on its neighbors’ wrecked road and rail infrastructure in the conduct of its
From a woman’s perspective
Many women remains ruled by gender stereotyping and the expectations of their families, partners and communities.
The traditional female roles that many Burundian women are supposed to carry out leave them little time or energy to become entrepreneurs.
Much of their effort is necessarily directed towards subsistence tasks, or towards activities that generate very little revenue.
While they may be actively engaged in economic activity outside of their domestic duties, these functions are typically in low-growth sectors of the economy.
As such, they do not generate significant revenue or enable these women to contribute to the growth of the local or national economy.
In short, there is a large pool of untapped entrepreneurial talent.
Women in different parts of Burundi face different obstacles to social entrepreneurship. In rural communities, endemic poverty dictates that most energy is expended on subsistence tasks related to meeting the basic needs for food, water, fuel and shelter.
Rural women are more likely to be bound by traditional attitudes and opinions. They have a low degree of connectivity and very limited access to modern media, ideas and infrastructure.
Women in Burundian towns and cities generally have greater opportunities to become entrepreneurs. Their barriers to entry to economic activity are generally lower.
They are exposed to more commercial activity and are better connected in terms of the flow of goods, finance and ideas. However, this does not automatically mean that they will be able to become entrepreneurs.