Bridging the Funding Gap: A Call to Action

In response to the glaring gender disparities in funding within the African tech ecosystem, a dynamic group of African female founders has taken a bold step forward with the launch of the Africa Female Founders Collective (AFFC). This groundbreaking initiative seeks to address the systemic challenges that have hindered female entrepreneurs from accessing adequate funding and support, thereby creating a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial landscape across the continent.

According to a recent report by Africa the Big Deal, startups with female founders received a mere 2 percent of total funding last year, starkly contrasting with the 85 percent that flowed to male-led ventures. This glaring gender gap underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to level the playing field and empower female entrepreneurs to thrive in the competitive business arena.

Founding Visionaries: Leading the Charge

At the helm of this groundbreaking initiative are visionary leaders like Ibijoke Faborode, founder and CEO of ElectHer, who recognizes the pivotal role of women in driving economic and societal growth. Faborode emphasizes that while women possess immense potential, limited access to funding and other resources often hampers their ability to fully realize their entrepreneurial ambitions. By establishing the AFFC, Faborode and her peers aim to provide a supportive ecosystem where female founders can access mentorship, networking opportunities, and the critical funding needed to scale their ventures.

Addressing Systemic Barriers

Blessing Adesiyan, founder of Caring Africa and a trailblazer within the AFFC, sheds light on the multifaceted challenges that contribute to the funding gap for female entrepreneurs. She highlights the caregiving responsibilities that disproportionately burden women, limiting their ability to actively engage in the entrepreneurial space. Adesiyan emphasizes the need for comprehensive support systems that alleviate caregiving burdens and enable women to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations with confidence and autonomy.

Charting a Path Forward

Ingressive Capital, a prominent seed-stage VC firm, underscores the importance of fostering a more inclusive and diverse investment landscape. By increasing the representation of female investors in key decision-making roles, such as VCs and policymakers, the industry can develop more equitable and less biased funding processes. This proactive approach not only empowers female founders but also enriches the entrepreneurial ecosystem with diverse perspectives and innovative solutions.

Exploring Alternative Funding Avenues

Jumoke Olaniyan, senior vice president of business development at FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited, highlights the myriad funding channels available to aspiring entrepreneurs. From traditional financing options to emerging opportunities in the financial market, Olaniyan emphasizes the importance of leveraging diverse funding mechanisms tailored to the unique growth needs of female-led ventures. With investors actively seeking new opportunities, female founders are encouraged to explore alternative avenues for funding and strategic partnerships to fuel their growth journey.

Empowering Female Founders for a Brighter Future

As the Africa Female Founders Collective embarks on its mission to bridge the funding gap and empower women entrepreneurs, it serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for aspiring founders across the continent. Through collective action, strategic partnerships, and unwavering commitment, the AFFC seeks to cultivate a thriving ecosystem where every female founder has the opportunity to succeed, innovate, and leave a lasting impact on Africa's entrepreneurial landscape.