In a bid to disburse capital for its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) Programme, the African Development Bank has secured funding to support female entrepreneurs in Nigeria and other African countries.
The Governing Committee of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) approved $61.8 million to support the growth of women in the entrepreneurship space.
We-Fi is a collaborative partnership hosted by The World Bank Group. It was established in October 2017 and consists of 14 donor Governments, eight multilateral development banks, and other public and private sector stakeholders.
The funding will enable 40,000 women-owned/led small and medium enterprises in 21 African countries to have access to finance.
AFAWA will focus on low-income and fragile countries, where women entrepreneurs face greater challenges in accessing finance, markets, knowledge, and mentoring programmes. The fund will be used to support the organisation’s objectives which will address the $42 billion financing gap between women and male entrepreneurs.
The first AFAWA pillar aims to increase access to finance for women through innovative and tailored financial instruments, including guarantee mechanisms to back up women entrepreneurs.
The organisation’s second pillar will be implemented with strategic partners and focuses on providing capacity-building services to women entrepreneurs, including access to mentoring and entrepreneurship training courses.
The third pillar concentrates on improving the business environment for women by engaging in policy dialogue with central banks and other relevant authorities and stakeholders.
African Development’s Bank Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society, Vanessa Moungar, who spoke on the impact of the We-Fi fund, said it will enable the programme to improve its activities and increase its achievement among female entrepreneurs.