NIGERIA, KENYA, MOZAMBIQUE – Although it is the continent with the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs globally, African women face a 42 billion dollars financing gap, according to data from the African Development Bank. Indeed, less than 7 percent of the funding allocated to Africa in 2021 was received by startups led by women.
This is where ImpactHER comes in: the initiative addresses the gender gap in entrepreneurship, empowering female entrepreneurs across Africa by dismantling barriers.
ImpactHER mobilizes individuals through utilizing SMS-based support programs, local language training, and strategic partnerships. They provide comprehensive business and digital skills training, connecting women with investors and mentors while ensuring inclusivity through SMS programs. This transformative approach is reshaping the entrepreneurial landscape, empowering one woman at a time. Through language-diverse training, ImpactHER equips African women entrepreneurs with the tools to thrive in the competitive business world.
Since its launch in 2017, the initiative has mobilized and trained over 7,632,000 women entrepreneurs including women in the rural areas, across 53 African countries to unlock their economic potential and fight poverty. The impact of ImpactHER is far-reaching: teenage mothers in Kenya’s informal settlements have been embraced and uplifted through pro bono digital skills training. Additionally, the initiative provided COVID-19 resilience training to over 10,000 women-owned businesses in African countries. Their transformative programs have converted more than 31,000 non-tech businesses to tech-driven ones and developed digital marketing strategies for WSMEs.
Beyond training, ImpactHER has provided guidance on gender-smart policies to prevent African women-led businesses from being disproportionately excluded from funding, capturing the attention of 30 African presidents. Some of these influential leaders have embraced the initiative’s recommendations, ensuring that underrepresented women-led businesses receive the vital support they need.
ImpactHER’s commitment to policy advocacy shines through the organization’s co-authorship of a policy brief with UN Women and the African Development Bank. The organization’s dedication extends further as it has partnered with 110 local grassroots organizations, delivering entrepreneurship and digital skills training to underrepresented women. ImpactHER’s collaborations also reach influential leaders and organizations, including the President of Burkina Faso, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, where it contributes valuable expertise and guidance on policies that enable African women entrepreneurs to thrive through the African Continental Free Trade Area.
As a finalist in the Mobilize category, ImpactHER is dedicated to uniting and empowering African girls and women entrepreneurs, transforming challenges into opportunities. Their work breaks boundaries, redefines success, and creates a more equitable future. ImpactHER actively addresses the SDGs, focusing on gender equality, economic growth, and reduced inequalities. By combating gender disparities and promoting equal opportunities, they demonstrate a strong commitment to fostering an inclusive world aligned with the 2030 Agenda.