The “Women’s Investment Club” (WIC) Senegal and Ecobank have signed a one billion CFA (US$1,600,000) collaboration contract to support female entrepreneurship in Senegal.
Ecobank Managing Director Sahid Yallou and Evelyne Dioh Simpa, Executive Director of WIC Capital Senegal, officially presented the symbolic check.
This financial partnership of one billion francs is at the heart of the “Ellever” program, which aims to support the activities of women promoting financial independence by facilitating the use of modern and adapted financial instruments.
Despite the fact that Senegal has a well-developed and active entrepreneurial fabric, one of the biggest obstacles to expansion is the lack of capital. This is how the project helps women business owners and entrepreneurs,” Yallou explained.
Women’s enterprise, he argues, has enormous potential, but women’s capacity is underutilized. “We have chosen a collaborative strategy to ensure that we are focused on the relevant targets and issues”, he explained.
Evelyne Dioh Simpa argues that by pooling resources and efforts, it will be possible to ensure that women-owned SMEs receive ever more sustainable financial support for their growth. “This collaboration comes at a great time for women’s businesses,” she thinks.
WIC Capital is the first investment fund in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire that exclusively targets women-led businesses. It was launched in March 2019 by the Women’s Investment Club (WIC) Senegal.
Local and international private and institutional investors are pooling their resources to finance women-owned micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire through the CFAF 11 billion investment program. The Fund invests in companies across all industries that were started by women, are registered or managed by at least 50% women, or have a majority female management team.
Considering the number of female entrepreneurs, Africa accounts for the largest share. In fact, in Africa, women are more likely than men to start a business. Women represent 58% of the self-employed on the continent.
Profiting from parity, a new analysis by the World Bank, shows that women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa continue to earn less than men (34% less on average).
Creating more opportunities for diligent women entrepreneurs in Africa should include cooperation with the private sector to utilize synergies.
We believe that this funding would go a long way in encouraging more women to explore entrepreneurship and will also help close the significant economic gap that appears to be a huge lag in the overall growth of the continent’s economy.
The impact of investing in women’s businesses is multiplied. Women are more likely than men to reinvest more of their income in their family and community.
Indeed, there is ample evidence that when women manage a greater share of household resources, the family spends a reasonable amount of money on children’s food and education, and children who are healthier and more educated people are better placed to contribute to a growing economy.
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