VC4A’s research shows that 22% of African ventures (at all stages of development) have a female founder or co-founder. Putting this in perspective, this is pretty similar to the average in New York City at 21% or San Francisco at 16% when looking at equivalent data available via CrunchBase. The percentage continues to increase thanks to the many women empowerment programs and a larger cultural mindshift that is taking place to normalize entrepreneurship as a career path for women across Africa.
That said, while over $4 billion was invested in 2021 into startups across the African continent, the Africa: The Big Deal report reveals that “93% of the funding went to start-ups led by male CEOs. Less than 1% to single female founders and female-only founding teams “. Similarly, the Briter Bridges report “In Search Of Equity – Exploring Africa’s Gender Gap in Startup Finance” in collaboration with the World Bank provides further insight. Female founders are underrepresented in the sectors that attract the most financing, there is a confidence gap which separates female and male founders and female entrepreneurs pay it forward by being twice as likely to hire women, and four times as likely to employ female managers.
“We have read all of the reports and the research is clear enough. Beyond understanding the problem and creative awareness, we also need to take action or the problems will never be addressed. VC4A launched the Venture Showcase Africa a Women founder edition as a concrete way to engage investors and drive capital support to outstanding women led companies.” Ben White co-founder and CEO VC4A
As an active player dedicated to supporting the development of startup ecosystems in emerging markets, VC4A and a network of investors seek to take a more proactive role by making the 7th edition of the Venture Showcase Africa a Women founder edition.
Danai Musandu, Senior Investment Relations at HPE Growth explains, “I joined as an ambassador because I believe when you are granted with the privilege to influence your network, because of the table you sit at, you have a responsibility to use that opportunity to multiply for the benefit of others and amplify for the voices who can not be heard yet.” And former 2020 Venture Showcase alumni entrepreneur Dr Rasha Rady, co-founder & COO of Chefaa adds “ 2020 Venture Showcase alumni: “for startups like ours, the VC4A Venture Showcase was a comfortable place to interact with investors and learn what is needed to effectively engage with them.”
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