100 Women Start-ups to Receive Growth Support Through She Wins Africa Program by IFC

International Finance Corporation (IFC) has 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 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. 

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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 boot camp to help lead 200 pre-seed women-led startups into the 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.”


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