Embracing the power of female entrepreneurs to drive economic growth and social impact, Standard Chartered Bank and Village Capital join forces to bridge the gender funding gap in Africa’s vibrant startup ecosystem. This pilot financing facility targets early-stage, impact-oriented businesses led by women, providing them with the crucial capital to fuel their ventures.
Recognizing women entrepreneurs’ persistent funding hurdles, this initiative breaks new ground by dedicating resources to businesses tackling local and global challenges. The goal is to create a ripple effect, fostering economic development and positive societal change across the continent.
Heather Matranga, Vice President of Impact Investments at Village Capital, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership:
“We’re thrilled to partner with Standard Chartered to empower women founders across Africa. Through this innovative financing facility, we aim to unlock new opportunities and capital for these impactful businesses, catering to their diverse needs in a multitude of markets.”
Marking a significant milestone, Village Capital announced its initial investments in two promising startups:
- Bena Care (Kenya): Delivering affordable, compassionate clinical care for patients with life-threatening illnesses in the comfort of their own homes.
- Mighty Finance (Zambia): Pioneering accessible financial services, focusing on empowering women-led businesses.
Each startup received $75,000, bringing the total initial investment to $150,000.
Joyce Kibe, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing at Standard Chartered, emphasized the program’s significance:
“This collaboration builds upon our successful Women in Tech program, which has equipped over 70 women-led businesses with vital tools and support. We believe that investing in women entrepreneurs leads to stronger, more resilient economies and addresses crucial needs often overlooked in the startup landscape.”
Beyond the initial pilot, Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech program has empowered 64 women-led businesses across six cohorts, providing grants totaling $7 million to 32 participants. This renewed partnership signifies a shared commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the impact investing space.