Global payments firm Visa has announced a grant in support of African women entrepreneurs. The African Women Impact Fund (AWIF) is an initiative by Standard Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to help raise capital for women fund managers across South, East, and West Africa
Visa’s grant to the AWIF is an extension of the She’s Next program, a global advocacy program for women-owned businesses that has been expanded to Sub-Saharan Africa to further champion and strengthen African women business owners as they build, sustain, and advance their businesses.
‘’The aim of She’s Next is to help women-owned businesses thrive and our ambition with this grant is to enable access to a space where women-owned firms are under-represented. said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President & Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, “Through this programme we aim to ensure that women are not only recipients but become decision-makers where institutional funding for businesses is concerned.”
Statistics show that African women account for just .6% of private equity while women-led businesses receive only 7% of Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) in emerging markets.
“The funding will ensure that these business owners are able to focus on growing their enterprises without the burden of managing short-term debt and other operational costs related to building a successful business” added Diarra.