The African digital and tech ecosystem is booming, with startups attracting an increasing amount of financing from local and international investors. However, the African innovation ecosystem does not provide equal opportunities to all, and women continue to be disproportionately underrepresented as leaders, founders, and employees. Access to funding, networks, business-development services and skills development opportunities is unevenly distributed, exacerbating disparities in representation and participation. Furthermore, startups and early-stage enterprises lack guidance and capacity on how to apply a gender lens in their own business models and how to reach women customers with their digital services and products, as well as making their organisations more gender inclusive.
In partnership with Value for Women we are determined to address the gender gaps persisting in Africa's innovation landscape. Together we are working with ecosystem actors to understand the gender gaps and opportunities within their organisations and based on the insights, co-design tailored solutions and approaches to close those gaps. This is implemented through immersive training, tailored gender advisory services, masterclasses, dedicated office hours, and online gender diagnostics for startups and intermediaries/ entrepreneurial support organisations (ESOs).
This initiative aims to support startups and intermediaries on their journey towards gender-transformative products, services, organisations and ultimately ecosystems in recognition that the African innovation ecosystem does not provide equal opportunities to all.
Find out more about the program here.