The challenges of succession in a family owned business are as numerous as they are complex. From bridging the generation gap to walking the line between innovating and honouring tradition, succession is never simple even at the best of times.
What it is like for women in Africa to deal with all that in a culture where it is often frowned upon for women to show drive and ambition deserves separate consideration. All too often, business-minded women are put in the impossible situation of having to choose between a career or a family even if it’s a matter of choosing to join their own family’s business.
Dr. Leila Bouamatou is a next-generation family business member from Mauritania who has set out to study and better understand the challenges African women face when seeking to take over a business. Her recently published academic paper A Qualitative Investigation Of Female Family Business Succession In Francophone Africa was part of her DBA studies in Business Administration at Temple University in the United States.
Leila spoke to Tharawat Magazine about her research and the future for female successors in Africa.