Herconomy raises $600,000 to empower women, deepen financial inclusion
Herconomy, a women-focused digital platform focused on enabling women in Africa, has raised a pre-seed round of $600,000 to introduce financial services, expand operations to ultimately empower women in Nigeria.
Founder and CEO of Herconomy, Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti in a statement said women account for half of the world’s population but are faced with more hurdles in accessing financial products and services that can improve their well-being and economic empowerment.
Data from EfiNA, a financial sector development organisation that promotes inclusive finance in Nigeria, shows that only 15 percent of women (compared to 27 percent of men) were banked in 2008 (a gender gap of 12 percentage points). By 2018, 33 percent of females were banked but the gender gap had worsened to 13 percentage points.
In the Global Gender Gap Index 2020 rankings by the World Economic Forum, Nigeria ranked 128 out of 153 countries emphasizing the economic disenfranchisement of women. Given the urgency in bridging the gender divide and enhancing the quality of life for women, policymakers and the public and private sector have continued to collaborate on many fronts.
“In Nigeria, this gender parity is a concern even though financial inclusion has progressed over the years,” Durosinmi-Etti said. “changing the course of the financial exclusion narrative and underrepresentation of women in the economy will require a frontline and hands-on approach.”
She said Herconomy, formerly AGS Tribe, has repositioned itself as a financial technology (Fintech) service provider to democratize economic opportunities for women and even the financial landscape. “We decided to rebrand this year to Herconomy so the essence of what we do is easily communicated. We understand that when the life of a woman is positively impacted, value is created not just for that woman but for the community at large.”
The female-focused organisation has also announced it would embark on additional capital raising exercises and is open to interests from investors that share the same vision of women empowerment, inclusion, and diversity.
Inspired by the great strides made and the need to consolidate gains for women in the economy, Herconomy is setting its eyes on more audacious and ambitious targets. According to Durosinmi-Etti, the upward trajectory of Herconomy will lead to the creation of Africa’s largest digital bank that will be focused on financing women and projects that elevate the status of women in the economy. In the meantime, “Herconomy is committed to enabling women to learn, network, and earn high interest on their savings as they spend,” Durosinmi-Etti added.