Women-led enterprises in Africa are not receiving enough support
The recent push for gender equality and women’s empowerment over the last 3 decades has led to the emergence of female entrepreneurs and female-led startups on the continent. Research by the World Bank shows that women make up 58% of Africa’s self-employed population and are more likely to become entrepreneurs than men. At 26%, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the world’s highest percentage of women entrepreneurs – according to the MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2021.
Yet, according to data from the AfriLabs – Briter Bridges Innovation Ecosystem Report and AfriLabs Needs Assessment report, women-led businesses in Africa continue to face unique challenges that see them perform poorly compared to men-led enterprises. The challenges range from social issues such as challenging social expectations, building a support network, balancing work and family life, and coping with the fear of failure to business-related issues like limited access to markets, finance, technology and network.
How RevUp Women is bridging the gap
To level the playground for women-led enterprises in Africa and give them a chance at performing better, we have to deploy women-targeted programs and use delivery methods that are more effective for female entrepreneurs, such as peer learning and hiring female coaches and mentors, as recommended in the above-stated Needs Assessment report.
RevUp Women is an enterprise development intervention for early-stage women-led African startups and SMEs. It is designed to accelerate female-led businesses into profitable & sustainable ventures that can stimulate the creation of jobs on the continent. At the end of the pilot stage, 500 women business owners would have received capacity-building training and mentoring while 10 women business owners will be funded with 10,000 dollars grant each through the Catalytic Africa matching fund to grow their businesses. The initiative is funded by The Visa Foundation and aligns with AfriLabs’ inclusion strategy.
Improving Africa’s economy by empowering women-led and women-owned enterprises
Leveraging AfriLabs hubs network in 52 African countries to undertake the following:
Sensitise and mobilise stakeholders to create equal growth opportunities for women-led startups and SMEs through RevUP Women Initiative, leading to inclusive economic growth.
More funding opportunities for women-led startups and SMEs on the continent.
A profound increase in investable and scalable women-led startups and SMEs in Africa.
More jobs are created by African women-led startups and SMEs.
Projected Impact Numbers by 2024
(After The Pilot Phase)
Women-led enterprises across
5 African countries are enabled
via training, mentoring and
Women mentoring networks
(1 per country) that will provide
strong mentorship and
peer-to-peer support amongst
female entrepreneurs in Africa
To 10 women-led enterprises in
Africa through Catalytic Africa.
Jobs will be created in the
countries where the initiative is
Projected Impact Numbers by 2026
Women-led enterprises across all African countries are enabled via training, mentoring and capacity-building sessions.
Women mentoring networks each in 10 African countries will provide strong mentorship and peer-to-peer support amongst female entrepreneurs in Africa.
$100m worth of investment unlocked through investors
At least 152,000 jobs will be created by women in the countries where the project is implemented.
A total of $10,000,000 worth of funding to 1000 women-led enterprises in Africa through Catalytic Africa.