In the world of business, women have come to be known as a force to reckon with. 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. Just a few years ago, another research showed that sub-Saharan Africa had the world’s highest rate of women entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, female-led businesses tend to be small and don’t have much room for growth – one of the reasons for this is inadequate training and funding opportunities tailored specifically to meet women’s peculiar needs. Also, most of the available funding seems to go to businesses owned and led by men.


Women business owners in Africa continue to face unique challenges, according to data from the AfriLabs – Briter Bridges Innovation Ecosystem Report and AfriLabs Needs Assessment report 2019. The issues range from social issues such as challenging social expectations, building a support network, balancing work and family life, and coping with fear of failure to business-related issues like limited access to markets, finance, technology and networks.


Therefore, deploying programmes specifically targeted at women and using delivery methods that are more effective for female entrepreneurs, such as leveraging peer learning and hiring female coaches and mentors, is crucial. The solutions that will bridge this gap need to be enterprise development interventions for businesses owned and led by women.


To tackle the challenges, AfriLabs is leveraging its large network of incubators, accelerators and investor networks on the continent to implement the RevUp Women’s Initiative, funded by Visa Foundation. The initiative targets early-stage women-led startups in Africa. The pilot phase of the programme will focus on supporting 500 female led startups across the 5 regions of Africa.

This initiative will be officially launched in Lagos, Nigeria on the 21st of February 2023, in the presence of key stakeholders and dignitaries in Africa’s innovation and entrepreneurship community.

Stay glued to this space for more information on this noteworthy initiative.

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