The claim that where women-owned businesses flourish, the community succeeds, the country’s GDP booms, and the global economy improves immensely, is not an exaggeration. How so?
African women are the invisible backbone of the continent’s economies as they make up a greater percentage of SMEs.
Hence, from an economic standpoint, it is essential that they receive the financial support they need to grow their ventures. Without being sentimental, it is just good business!
One of the reasons for the funding gap that currently exists in the tech sector is that female tech entrepreneurs have lesser networking and fundraising opportunities. Whether consciously or otherwise, there is a tendency for investors to view women-owned/led startups as high-risk investments.
With the funding challenges facing Africa’s female-owned/led startups, ShEquity, a female-focused VC firm is setting up the ShEquity West Africa VC Fund and the ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA) to provide female founders a combination of funding, technical support, valuable networks, and venture building.
Already in motion, ShEquity has provided backing to three female-owned enterprises in Africa. They include Ecodudu, an agritech company based in Kenya, Superfluid Labs, a Kenyan data and AI startup, and Zambia’s WidEnergy, a provider of clean, affordable energy solutions in Africa.
By launching West Africa VC Fund and a related accelerator, SHEBA, ShEquity is well on its way to create an even more positive impact in 2021.
Based in Accra, Ghana, SHEBA will empower female entrepreneurs, helping them to grow their businesses across various sectors from fintech, digital economy, agriculture, healthcare, hospitality to natural resources. It will also assist beneficiaries in utilizing and managing funds.
Explaining the rationale behind this initiative, the founder and managing partner at ShEquity, Pauline Koelbl said,
“Through SHEBA, we plan to onboard 30 female entrepreneurs each year, who will receive venture building and technical support. Of these, qualifying entrepreneurs will receive investment from our VC fund. Our goal is to build an investment ecosystem which unlocks the potential of African female entrepreneurs.”
This project focuses on female-run businesses that are not only innovative and sustainable but impactful economically.
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