Closing the Gender Gap for Funding Africa’s Startup Scene

Raising money from investors is a challenging enough task for startup founders in general, but even more so for female entrepreneurs. In 2019, US startups with female CEOs represented only 13.5% (pdf) of all venture capital investments, according to PitchBook, a private markets data provider. Globally, less than 5% of venture capital went to female-led startups in 2019. And the coronavirus pandemic has hit female-led firms disproportionately when it comes to venture funding. Despite its vibrant and diverse startup sector, this underrepresentation of women in tech is as stark in Africa as it is elsewhere in the world. A 2020 TechPoint report estimated that only 10% of west Africa-focused startups with at least one female co-founder successfully raised $1 million or more in the last decade. The African Development Bank has pitted the entire funding gender gap at $42 billion. With venture capital crucial to catalyze business growth, the funding model needs to change. Several African venture funds in recent months have recognized this, and are turning their focus to female-founded startups, while existing funds and accelerator programs are bringing more women into their fold.

SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA

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