Together with the Agency for Business and Economic Development (AWE), Global Perspectives Initiative (GPI) brought together different perspectives from investors, founders, banks and politics to discuss what obstacles remain for women in starting their own companies and what challenges remain in accessing finances and investments.
On the African continent, women contribute significantly to building a sustainable economy. In fact, women in Africa are considered the backbone of economic growth and stand at the core of development. However, they face significant obstacles since they often do not have sufficient resources and access to realize their full potential. Aya Chebbi shared a video message, especially highlighting the need for resources, including technology, and integrating the youth of the African continent.
The experts Christiane Laibach, Pauline Koelbl, Leago Takalani, Benjamin Knödler discussed these aspects in more depth during the main discussion.
Some of the key lessons and take-aways from the discussion:
- A woman’s access to capital is not a woman’s problem, it’s a society issue. It presents that there is a lack of opportunity to women to engage in the economy and a need to provide them with resources.
- Investing in women is a business case. Investing in women can enlarge the markets and spur economic growth.
- There needs to be investments to allow companies to scale up. One specific recommendation was channeling money to local founders and indigenous funds.
- There needs to be more diversity in capital locators to address the gender funding gap on the African continent. There are clear correlations between who decides to get funding and who gets funding.
- Working with governments and on multilateral engagement is crucial. The German government has implemented a feminist development policy, which exactly highlights the need for women in entrepreneurship as a point of action.
- Lastly, de-mystify the international risk perspective of investing on the African continent. Conversations such as this event are crucial to change the understanding and narrative of investing in Africa as an opportunity for economic return, not charity.
- Aya Chebbi, Founder and Chair, Nala Feminist Collective
- Benjamin Knödler, Head of Private Sector Cooperation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development (BMZ)
- Christiane Laibach, Executive Board Member, KfW Development Bank
- Pauline Koelbl, Founder & CEO, AfriProspect GmbH & ShEquity Ltd
- Leago Takalani, Founder, NewSpace & CEO, Luvhone Engineering and Consulting Partners
- Deborah Choi, Executive Director, Founderland
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