90-second update: Boosting finance for Africa’s women-led businesses
70% of women-owned SMEs in emerging markets are underserved by financial institutions, according to the World Bank – a trend that a group of women in Africa are seeking to change.
At the GTR Africa Trade & Infrastructure Finance conference in London in October, we spoke with Bo Masole about why investing in women is becoming increasingly popular.
Masole is the CEO of Victus Global, a food technology consultancy, and the co-founder of its private equity fund Victus Global Capital.
She has, together with two other female entrepreneurs, launched a US$50mn fund, which aims to transform African agriculture through the practice of so-called ‘gender lens investing’.
Gender lens investing focuses on funding women-owned businesses, companies with a track-record of hiring women, and those that aim to improve the lives of women through their products and services.
The approach makes a lot of business sense too. Agriculture in Africa is an industry that predominantly deploys women and is run by women. Yet, women often find it more difficult than men to access finance.
There are a range of reasons for this. For example, women in many African countries are less likely to own assets and they often lack the requisite network and knowledge of how to access finance.
And, as Masole explains, finance is a sector dominated by men. Find out more in the video below or read more about Victus Global Capital’s Impact Fund One.take me back