Although the African entrepreneurial ecosystem is booming, it is also – similar to many other global regions – systematically failing to meet and sustain the aspirations of female founders. Given that Africa is home to many female founders, it is critical that we address this gap from an ecosystem lens. To bridge the gender financing gap among male-led and female-led startups, there must be focused efforts to meet the needs of a growing cadre of gender intentional investors, stronger connections to each other and to new funders, and an enabling environment for African startup ecosystem actors to thrive.
This project will convene key early-stage gender lens investing (GLI) actors in Africa to cross-pollinate ideas and co-create new solutions that accelerate more equitable funding systems.
The project will harness the power of ecosystems to engage the creativity of key members from several African gender-lens investing (GLI) networks to
1. identify key GLI barriers that they are facing as a community and catalyze high leverage and innovative solutions;
2. weave community and strengthen relationships among early-stage GLI networks to drive ownership and continued collaboration and;
3. increase visibility and momentum by developing knowledge products and insights on the needs and aspirations of the African GLI landscape.
The co-design journey will be an opportunity to connect a cohort of 25-30 emerging GLI ecosystem players into a robust network, deploy co-design tools to spark innovative ideas on how to best leverage assets and strengthen collective efforts, and increase visibility and momentum around gender-lens investing in Africa.