According to Forbes Africa, African women make up over 58% of the entrepreneurial population in Africa and contribute around 13% to the continent’s GDP. This statistic paints a clear picture of how determinism and ‘manifestations’ are not enough to scale a business – every big and successful business you know has a balanced diet of unique ideas, hard work, human resources, and most importantly capital. Without capital, the other elements barely move the needle. 

Women-owned businesses are often at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the much needed funding to build and scale their businesses. Despite their proven resilience and ability to deliver results, statistics reveal that they receive significantly less financial support compared to their male counterparts.   Globally, women-led businesses receive an average 5% of venture capital funding – in Africa, it’s about 3%. Imagine getting 3% of the pie and giving back 13% to the continent? That’s a clear indication that empowering women is not just a matter of equality; it’s a strategy for economic growth. Because if women are more financially empowered, the impact on the continent will be endless.

Since inception, Flutterwave has taken concrete steps to mitigate this challenge and support women entrepreneurs. In 2021, we launched an annual grant program that awarded seven women-led businesses with $2,500 each. The initiative also included training and mentorship programs to equip these women with the tools they need to expand their businesses. In 2022, we committed $50,000 to women-owned businesses across Africa, with the aim of helping them grow and scale into global enterprises.

This November, we are excited to partner with Femme Africa on ‘In Her Bag’. An accelerator program designed for young business women aged 18 to 35. The program will welcome businesses from various sectors, including fashion, beauty, retail, and other industries. Five female entrepreneurs will embark on a 5-day program featuring masterclasses in branding, storytelling, funding for scale, community building, and e-commerce. 

Through this partnership, we are supporting women through a number of ways; 

  • ‘In Her Bag’ is fully powered by Flutterwave.
  • Two of our Wavers, Yewande Akomolafe-Kalu, and Onyedikachim Nwankwo, will teach the young entrepreneurs about branding, storytelling and e-commerce marketing.
  • We have also committed our full technology, PR, and media resources to making this partnership a success.

At Flutterwave, we strongly believe that empowering women is ultimately about building a foundation for a more inclusive and prosperous society. As we continue to support women entrepreneurs through initiatives like ‘In Her Bag,’ we envision a future where more women flourish in the economy, growing their wealth, and can boldly say, “I’m fully in my bag, and I’m thriving.”

Published by Sharon Grey

Storytelling and Brand, West Africa