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    HomeEcosystem NewsVenture Capital & Funding SourcesIFC Raises New Funding to Back Women-Led Startups in Africa via SheWinsAfrica...

    IFC Raises New Funding to Back Women-Led Startups in Africa via SheWinsAfrica Initiative

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     In a significant move to bolster women’s entrepreneurship in Africa, ASR Africa, a philanthropic foundation, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have announced a $1.5 million investment in the SheWinsAfrica initiative.

    The SheWinsAfrica initiative launched by the IFC in 2023 aims to address the persistent funding gap faced by women-led startups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite women representing the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity globally, they often encounter barriers in accessing capital and resources.

    Key Elements of the Investment:

    • Investment Readiness: The funds will support training programs to equip women entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to attract investors and secure funding.
    • Gender-Lens Investing: A portion of the investment will go towards building capacity for venture capital firms and funds to adopt gender-lens investing strategies, which consider the unique value proposition of women-led businesses.
    • Network Building: The initiative will foster connections between women founders and potential investors, facilitating access to capital and mentorship.
    • Capacity Building for Startup Support Organizations: The investment will strengthen ten startup support organizations that play a crucial role in nurturing early-stage ventures.

    The $1.5 million investment represents a targeted effort to overcome the systemic challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa. These challenges include limited access to capital, a lack of supportive networks, and unconscious biases within the investment community.

    The SheWinsAfrica initiative welcomes applications from women-led startups across all sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. To be eligible, startups must have at least one female founder in a financial decision-making role and meet certain operational criteria.

    The partnership between ASR Africa and the IFC reflects a broader commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth in Africa. By empowering women entrepreneurs and promoting gender-lens investing, the initiative aims to create a more equitable and prosperous future for the continent.

    The $1.5 million investment is a substantial step towards leveling the playing field for women-led startups in Africa. The success of this initiative could serve as a model for future investments in women’s economic empowerment across the region.

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