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IFC to support 100 women-led startups through She Wins Africa

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The International Financial Corporation (IFC) has selected 100 women-led startup owners to support through the She Wins Africa program, an initiative led by the IFC aimed at accelerating access to capital for female-led startups across Africa.

The selected women, according to the IFC, a member of the World Bank group, will “participate in comprehensive interventions that will strengthen their companies’ investment readiness, including advice and mentorship, and provide access to potential investors, industry leaders, and peers through matchmaking and pitching opportunities across Africa.”

“The initiative is a part of IFC’s broader commitment to promote gender equality and empower women entrepreneurs in emerging markets,” Nathalie Akon Gabala, Director of Gender and Economic Inclusion at IFC, said in a statement.

She added that the 100 participants announced on Wednesday were drawn from almost 3,000 applicants comprised of women entrepreneurs across Africa in sectors ranging from ag-tech, climate-tech, e-commerce, ed-tech, health-tech and fintech etc.

“Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of female entrepreneurs globally, with approximately 26% of female adults involved in entrepreneurial activity. However according to a 2021 World Bank report, women founders in Africa receive only about three percent of start-up finance,” she noted.

“In addition to the investment-readiness program for the 100 selected participants, She Wins Africa will roll out other initiatives, including a bootcamp to help lead 200 pre-seed women-led startups into acceleration phase

“An initiative to open up acceleration support for an additional 200 women-led startups in areas where such support is not easily available; and
a program to create a coalition of funds, venture capital firms and gender-lens investors to improve access to finance for women and their businesses across Africa.

IFC’s She Wins Africa empowers women entrepreneurs through coaching, training, and financing, accelerating their growth and investment readiness throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“It’s time for investors to step up and fund women. A strong entrepreneurship ecosystem benefits us all,” she said.

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Nigeria’s MAX partners Ghana’s Kofa in e-bike financing deal

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Nigeria’s electric vehicle solutions provider, MAX, has announced striking a partnership deal with Ghana’s innovator in energy networks, Kofa, that will see MAX offering financing options for over 2,000 revolutionary TailG Jidi bikes.

The bikes which are developed by Kofa in conjunction with TailG, a Chinese manufacturer, were launched in October last year and has been a big hit in the West African country.

A statement by MAX on Thursday, stated that the partnership marks a significant milestone in making green transportation more accessible in Africa.

“Max’s financing options for the motorbikes will enable more individuals and businesses to adopt eco-friendly transportation, aligning with both companies’ vision of a sustainable future,” it said.

“This collaboration between MAX and Kofa is a step towards a greener, more sustainable Africa.

“This partnership is poised to accelerate the transition to green energy and sustainable transportation in Africa,” the company said.

“The coming together of the two democratises access to vehicle ownership and electric mobility across Africa through a tech-driven platform that offers a spectrum of services, including subscription-based vehicle financing,cutting-edge electric vehicle options, and comprehensive support services.

“Kofa, meanwhile, is focused on creating affordable, sustainable, and customer-driven electricity networks, starting with electric motorcycles.

“The startup partnered TailG Group, a leading electric vehicle brand from China, to launch the Jidi electric motorcycle last October, and subsequently announced the planned launch of its second-generation Kore 2 Swap & Go network,” it added.

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African Guarantee Fund partners Nordic Development Fund to launch green finance in Nigeria

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The African Guarantee Fund (AGF) has teamed up with the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) to launch a green finance fund to tackle climate challenges in Nigeria.

The fund which was launched on Tuesday at the 9th Edition of the Green Finance Conference with the theme “The Role of Africa’s Private Sector in The Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” brought together representatives of the Nigerian government, senior executives of financial institutions, key regulatory-policy stakeholders, and Green SMEs to discuss green synergies.

According to the organisers of the event, the Green Finance Conference provided a platform for all stakeholders to “dialogue and showcase the many advantages that Green SMEs can contribute to the economy of Nigeria, while strengthening their understanding of AGF’s Green Guarantee Facility and how it enables banks on-lend to green and climate-smart projects.”

AGF Group Chief Executive Officer, Jules Ngankam, who delivered a keynote address, emphasized that the Green Finance Conference is a crucial response to the challenges posed by climate change within a framework of National Determined Contributions (NDC) with a focus on providing enhanced expertise to Africa while proposing practical solutions to addressing financing for smaller and medium-sized enterprises committed to green growth and climate-resilient development.

“Our aim is to support the banks to improve, increase or develop their green portfolios. Through the combination of our Green Guarantee and Capacity Development support, we are able to bridge the knowledge gap between both financial institutions and their customers,” he said.

“This is not only for the SMEs to understand how the lending process works, but also for the financial experts to learn how they can provide solutions tailored to suit the needs of the SMEs,” Jules said.

Managing Director of NDF, Satu Santala, who also spoke at the conference, said:

“We are committed to financing green and inclusive low-carbon and climate resilient growth of African economies to improve the livelihood of communities.

“Partnerships are at the core of NDF’s approach to climate finance and the African private sector plays a pivotal role in climate action and creating employment.”

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