Tag: AFAWA

News & Publications

Growth4Her Accelerator Programme for Women SMEs in Nigeria & Cameroon

Growth4Her is accepting applications for its first cohort. The cohort is open to women-owned and led Small and medium size enterprises in Cameroon and Nigeria. The Growth4Her program is open to women SMEs looking to transition their businesses to growth-powered businesses as the program offers investor readiness training, psychosocial support, mentorship, access to financing opportunities and access to markets. 

 

About Growth4Her

Growth4Her is an AFAWAAFDB funded project created by Creative Space Startups in partnership with Sociocapital Impact Group, The Learning Gate and WETECH. Growth4Her is a women’s support program which provides women entrepreneurs with the capacity and tools which enables them to transition from small to high potential fundable growth stage businesses.

In 2021, African Development Bank (AfDB) reported that there is a $42b gender financing gap in Africa. Growth4Her is actively eliminating the Gender Financing Gap in Africa through the provision of adequate skills, knowledge, access to markets, access to finance, advocating for better policies and an adequate representation for women-owned Small and Medium Size Enterprises.

Over the next five (5) years, this program aims to empower 1500 women entrepreneurs across 10 African cities with a particular interest in Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs). The program offers beneficiaries investment readiness skills, links them directly to funders, and fosters an ecosystem that supports WSMEs.

What will the program provide?

The Growth4Her program will provide beneficiaries with:

  • Access to Market—we provide you with market linkages across African cities.
  • Access to funding – we prepare you for investors and connect you with financial institutions.
  • Psychosocial and Policy Support—we advocate for policy reforms and work with communities to enable a culture of support for WSMEs.
  • Media Exposure—we provide adequate media representation.
  • Mentorship—we facilitate access to skilled and experienced mentors.

Eligibility

  1. Organization should be at least 51% owned by a woman or, at minimum 20% owned by a woman and have at least a woman as CEO/COO (President/Vice President); and have at minimum 30% of its board of directors composed of women, provided there is a board.
  2. Loan size between US$5,000 and US$1 million (Loans must not be from traditional financial institutions, however, loans from other sources such as associations, cooperatives e.g. “tontine/njangi”  “esusu”, family loans may be considered).
  3. Organization should have between 5 and 300 employees.
  4. Sales between US$35,000 and US$15 million annually.
  5. Assets between US$100,000 and US$15 million.
  6. Can dedicate 1 week to an intense virtual/ physical Bootcamp.
  7. Can dedicate 3 hours for mentorship engagement for a period of 8 weeks.
  8. Must be a C-Level executive in the organization.

TO APPLY, CLICK HERE.  

For more information, send us a mail at community@growth4her.org

News & Publications

Growth4Her, Bridging the Gender Financing Gap in Africa

Despite owning 58% of Africa’s SMEs, women face a $42 billion gender financing gap, impeding their ability to scale up, advance professionally as business leaders, and compete globally.

WOMEN ARE THE BACKBONE OF THE AFRICAN ECONOMY — According to a recent World Bank research, women entrepreneurs are an important and thriving source of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, women-owned businesses get lower monetary returns (profit or investment funding) compared to men-owned businesses owing to gender-specific restrictions. In recent times, there has been an increase in women-centric training programs, yet this hasn’t translated to an equivalent rise in financing. This imbalance implies women entrepreneurs may be overtrained, and underfunded. Therefore, it is critical that in supporting women entrepreneurs, we provide an enabling environment that ensures a balance of both capacity and resources relevant for growth.

During a closed virtual launch, Grace Oluchi, Cofounder and Executive Director of Creative Space Startups asked, “What if we all intentionally supported women entrepreneurs?”. This intentionality begins with Growth4Her, a women accelerator program created by Creative Space Startups in partnership with Sociocapital Impact Group, The Learning Gate and WETECH. G4Her seeks to bridge the gender financing gap in Africa by providing women entrepreneurs with the capacity and tools which enables them to transition from small to high potential fundable growth stage businesses.

During a closed virtual launch, Grace Oluchi, Cofounder and Executive Director of Creative Space Startups asked, “What if we all intentionally supported women entrepreneurs?”. This intentionality begins with Growth4Her, a women accelerator program created by Creative Space Startups in partnership with Sociocapital Impact Group, The Learning Gate and WETECH. G4Her seeks to bridge the gender financing gap in Africa by providing women entrepreneurs with the capacity and tools which enables them to transition from small to high potential fundable growth stage businesses.

The program offers a robust support system for women entrepreneurs; “The G4Her consortium brings the best of business and development, equipping beneficiaries with the perspective and tools to leverage the opportunity from a diverse investment cluster. Women-led enterprises must be adaptive to the African market’s rapid volatility and uncertainty. The G4Her program will deliver a balanced coaching and mentorship program, including psychosocial support required for them to survive and thrive”. Sharon Madaki, Executive Director, Sociocapital.

Over the next 5 years, this program aims to empower 1500 women entrepreneurs across 10 African cities with a particular interest in women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs) in West and Central Africa. The program offers beneficiaries investment readiness skills, links them directly to funders, and fosters an ecosystem that supports Women’s SMEs.

“Investment readiness is a nursery bed prepared for investors to plant, water and nurture their seeds,” says Ajuma Ataguba, Principal Consultant for The Learning Gate. Our approach is to see women receive the skills, resources and direct access to funders and new markets. We guide them through interaction with funders to ensure higher success rates. The program’s four pillars include capacity building, public policy co-creation, psychosocial support and investment readiness training.

With support funding from AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa), Growth4Her will be piloted in Cameroon and Nigeria and looks forward to onboarding 30-50 women entrepreneurs for its first cohort. Through this sub-economic region collaboration, hopes are high as the program is expected to increase collaborations between neighbouring Cameroon and the Nigerian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Taking advantage of initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and other intra-African policies and programs to increase cross-border women collaboration and economic growth.

The program is being implemented in Nigeria by Creative Space Startups and in Cameroon by WETECH; speaking on the program’s goals, Elodie Nonga-Kenla, Founder of WETECH stated “We want to ensure that women in (Africa) Cameroon become more confident, heard, encouraged, and supported in their entrepreneurial journey. The program is a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs in the economic region to build their ability to scale on both a continental and global level”.

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