Gender Equality and Performance of Private Businesses in Nyarugenge District, Rwanda


  • Serugendo Jean Baptiste University of Mount Kenya, Rwanda
  • Dr. Irechukwu Eugenia Nkechi Mount Kenya University



Gender importance in socio-economic welfare has contributed to several interested persons’ appreciation and assistance for constructive opinions to females and males’ entrepreneurial improvement. In Rwanda, there is no gender discrimination in doing business, this is to give equal entrepreneurial opportunity to all entrepreneurs irrespective of their gender. However, even though the Government of Rwanda supports businessmen and businesswomen to perform in private businesses, gender equality in private businesses remains an issue of concern because the percentage of women’s representation in private businesses is still low, which is a problem to be addressed. The purpose of this study was to assess how gender equality affects private business performance in Nyarugenge District, Rwanda. The study used a quantitative research design and collected primary data from 100 private business owners using a questionnaire with close-ended questions. The sample size was calculated using Slovin's method, and stratified sampling techniques were used to obtain respondents from the district's 10 sectors. The collected data were analyzed using quantitative data analysis approaches, generating descriptive statistics outputs using Stata version 17 and SPSS version 24 tools. Pearson Chi-square tests were used to test the impact of gender equality on business performance. The means and standard deviations of the respondent scores were computed for the Likert statements to assess the key factors that critically affect the performance of businesses owned by males and females. The findings revealed that there are gender differences in business characteristics, most females among business owners use a lower capital of less than 500,000 Rwanda Francs (32% for females, while for males is 17%), and have a lower business income. Females-owned businesses employ fewer employees (about 40% of all employees) than males-owned businesses (about 60 % of all employees). The statistics test has provided enough evidence that the relationship between gender equality effect and performance of private businesses is statistically significant because their p-values equal 0.000 or less than 0.005 (sign=0.0000<0.05). The findings also indicated that the topmost prevailing severe problems that severely affect the performance of businesses owned by males and females were COVID-19 (x̄ =4.45, SD=0.928 for males and x̄ =4.30, SD =1.030 for females), high taxes(x̄=4.47, SD =0.545 for males and x̄ =4.53, SD =0.723 for females), instability of market price (x̄ =4.40, SD =0.613 for males and x̄=4.34,SD =0.918 for females), high rent of premises (x̄ =4.32, SD =0.593 for males and x̄ =4.21, SD =0.840 for females), and insufficient employed capital (x̄ =4.21, SD =0.550 for males and x̄ =4.01, SD =0.866 for females). This study has identified that female and male owned businesses are facing the same business challenges. These problems need to be addressed; however, it will take time and joint efforts of business owners themselves, government, stakeholders, and researchers to attain solutions and remove these severe factors that prevent the performance of private businesses. The study recommends that business owners, especially women with lower startup capital, should approach financial institutions for support in promoting their businesses. The study also recommends that female-owned businesses should join and create cooperatives with their counterparts to share business challenges, experiences, and incentives of working together. Additionally, the study recommends that financial institutions should facilitate and encourage businesswomen to obtain bank loans to grow their businesses. The study also recommends that the government should consider these recommendations and provide support in eradicating the identified business challenges.

Keywords: Gender Equality, Business Performance, Severe Factors, Nyarugenge District, Rwanda

Author Biographies

Serugendo Jean Baptiste , University of Mount Kenya, Rwanda

Postgraduate Student, University of Mount Kenya, Rwanda

Dr. Irechukwu Eugenia Nkechi, Mount Kenya University

Senior Lecturer, Mount Kenya University


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How to Cite

Baptiste , S. J. ., & Nkechi, I. E. . (2023). Gender Equality and Performance of Private Businesses in Nyarugenge District, Rwanda. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Project Management, 7(2), 1–25.