At SAP Women in Tech, we recently has a great session from our Young Africans in Tech program, the topic?- Investing in African Female Entrepreneurs: The Key to Unlocking Africa’s Potential- with Pauline Koelbl. Pauline is AfriProspect GmbH’s Founder/CEO as well as ShEquity’s Founder/Managing Partner. She is a leading innovation expert in developing and emerging economies, an impact investor, and a seasoned impact-driven team leader with over 20 years of experience in international affairs and venture philanthropy.
Here is what was discussed in this session: Africa is super rich, blessed with natural resources and a youthful population, and filled with immense diversity and talent, but many Africans continue to face many challenges linked to poverty. Most of those challenges are being addressed by local innovators and entrepreneurs, but unfortunately many don’t have access to the capital needed to benchmark their solutions, embark on growth, and scale to other markets. Due to the existing biases, access to capital is even harder for African female founders. In 2021, only 0.95% of VC funding for African start-ups went to companies with all women founders or co-founders, compared to 82% for male counterparts.
In this session, Pauline shares more information on why unlocking Africa’s potential requires investing in African female founders. She shares specific examples of how through ShEquity, they are addressing the existing gender funding gap by providing smart investment to impactful African female-led and owned businesses.