Female founders are underscoring the significance of greater women’s involvement in finance roles, asserting that this shift will not only fortify the ecosystem but also have far-reaching impacts on the global stage.
Ola Brown, founder, of Healthcare Capital Africa spoke on some of the barriers affecting women to accessing funding.
She noted that there are very few women in financing and very little funding allocated to women, she also mentioned that women are poor of time compared to their male counterparts and that as a venture capitalist getting funds requires a lot of networking which many women do not have access to.
Brown emphasised Nigeria’s unique position, boasting a higher percentage of women than any other part of the world. Investing in these women, she argued, yields profound societal benefits. Notably, it helps lift people out of poverty, generates employment opportunities, enhances security, and bolsters the overall economy.
Disrupt Africa, a start-up research firm said between January 2022 and April 2023, 711 individual African tech start-ups raised a combined total of just over $4 billion in funding. Of those 711 companies, just 149 (21 percent) had a female co-founder, and only 83 (11.7 percent ) had a female CEO.
When it comes to funds raised, US$369,102,000 (9.1 percent) of funds went to start-ups with at least one female co-founder, and only US$119,053,000 (2.9 percent) was invested in companies led by a female CEO.
This was discussed at The US mission to Nigeria event themed:’ Armchair discussion on enabling female entrepreneurship’ on Tuesday.
Damilola Oloke, CEO of Shuttlers, shed light on the urgent need for more female venture capitalists and limited partners (LPs). She stressed the instrumental role played by female VC’s and LP’s throughout her funding journey.
“The more female VC’s and LPs there are, the more female led businessmen will get invested in,” Oloke said.
She mentioned that in 2016 during a program with She Leads Africa she found out that female founders are a bit shy when it comes to funding and getting huge amounts.
Oloke pointed out that there’s also a lot of learning female founders and entrepreneurs can get from their male counterparts.
“I’ve learnt a lot from male founders, I’ve learnt how they pitch, network and a lot more,” she said.
Anna Ekeledo, executive director, AfriLabs also spoke of the importance of building women mentor programs, tailored to help female entrepreneurs overcome gender specific barriers.