In a bid to drive diaspora investments back to the African continent, the president of the Borderless Trade Network and Founder, WINHER project, Olori Boye-Ajayi, has said the project is setting its sight on bridging the estimated $42 billion financing gap for African women across business value chains and is targeting 30,000 women entrepreneurs by 2025
Olori Boye-Ajayi disclosed this to newsmen during the firm’s upcoming Max Out press conference briefing in Lagos recently. She explained that women are key stakeholders in the economic development of nations and are essential frontline backbones in generational wealth creation, economic growth and global development while stating that women entrepreneurship is challenged with access to finance.
“A World Bank survey conducted in May 2020 revealed that about 43 per cent of female owned MSMEs were more severely impacted than 34 per cent of the male-owned business counterparts who were also affected. Furthermore, in light of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) ratification, a survey was conducted on over 2,500 women in business within the network to find out their pain points and it was discovered that lack of funds was top on the list.
“AfCFTA presents opportunities for women who are ready to absorb the competition, free and wider customer base but that is dependent on whether they can expand their production or services. However, the expansion comes with funding as capital is needed to expand and if they do not have access to that, then they are in trouble and what this means is that when the competition stares you in the face, one will not be able to meet up with that competition and the business might be disrupted or operating at a minimum and it is important that WINHER provides the women with investment readiness and that is what we are doing,” Boye-Ajayi explained.
The founder noted that the initiative is a pilot phase and added that it is targeting 30,000 women entrepreneurs by 2025 and open for collaboration with other agencies.