• Closing the gap

    Closing the gap

    A digital platform has been launched to provide African women in business with easier access to financial services, support and networking opportunities.

    Unveiled at the recent Global Gender Summit, which took place in Kigali, the 50 Million African Women Speak initiative is available online and via a mobile app across 38 African nations, including Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

    Funded by the AfDB, the project is being run by COMESA, the EAC and ECOWAS in a bid to boost female economic empowerment by offering a wide range of financial and non-financial services that women need to start and grow successful businesses.

    According to an ECOWAS statement, while sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly 13 million SMEs with one or more women owners, just 16% to 20% of female entrepreneurs ‘are able to access long-term financing from formal financial institutions to scale up their businesses’. Meanwhile, the AfDB estimates that the financing gap for women entrepreneurs across business value chains in sub-Saharan Africa stands at US$42 billion.

    10 December 2019
    Image: Biiraonline