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IFC’s She Wins Africa Program Selects 100 Women-Led Startups to Receive Growth Support

IFC She Wins Africa

Summary

  • IFC announces 100 women-led startups selected for the She Wins Africa program.
  • The selected participants will undergo comprehensive interventions, including investment readiness programs, mentorship, and networking opportunities to strengthen their companies.
  • She Wins Africa, part of IFC’s commitment to gender equality, addresses the disparity in startup finance for women in Africa.

IFC today announced the names of 100 women-led startup owners selected to participate in the She Wins Africa program, an IFC-led initiative that aims to accelerate access to capital for women-led startups across sub-Saharan Africa.

The selected women will participate in comprehensive interventions that will strengthen their companies’ investment readiness, include advice and mentorship, and provide access to potential investors, industry leaders, and peers through matchmaking and pitching opportunities across Africa. The initiative is a part of IFC’s broader commitment to promote gender equality and empower women entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The 100 participants announced today were drawn from almost 3,000 applicants comprised of women entrepreneurs across Africa in sectors ranging from ag-tech, climate-tech, e-commerce, ed-tech, health-tech and fintech etc. 

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of female entrepreneurs globally, with approximately 26% of female adults involved in entrepreneurial activity. However according to a 2021 World Bank report, women founders in Africa receive only about three percent of start-up finance.

In addition to the investment-readiness program for the 100 selected participants, She Wins Africa will roll out other initiatives, including: 

  • a bootcamp to help lead 200 pre-seed women-led startups into acceleration phase,
  • an initiative to open up acceleration support for an additional 200 women-led startups in areas where such support is not easily available; and
  • a program to create a coalition of funds, venture capital firms and gender-lens investors to improve access to finance for women and their businesses across Africa.

“IFC’s She Wins Africa empowers women entrepreneurs through coaching, training, and financing, accelerating their growth and investment readiness throughout sub-Saharan Africa, said Nathalie Akon Gabala, Director of Gender and Economic Inclusion at IFC. “It’s time for investors to step up and fund women. A strong entrepreneurship ecosystem benefits us all.”

Today’s announcement follows the launch of the She Wins Africa program at the Africa CEO Forum in Côte D’Ivoire in 2023. She Wins Africa is the second initiative of its kind, following IFC’s She Wins Arabia program which has supported 170 women entrepreneurs and more than 35 Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) in North Africa and the Middle East since 2021.

Read: Microsoft and IFC partners in digital platforms to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa

About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email: kaluka@techarena.co.ke
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