There is no doubt that funding for women-led startups in Africa is much lower than that of male-led startups. In the year In 2021, the share of investment invested in women-owned startups stood at 6.5%, meaning that only $1 out of every $15 raised in the African startup ecosystem went to women-owned tech startups.
To address this widening gap between male- and female-owned tech startups in Africa, Ethiopia-based Tech African Women (TAW) recently launched a program to bring startups from idea stage to business.
The program, run by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in partnership with Betacube, invites all women-owned startups from Ethiopia, Tunisia, Senegal and Tanzania to submit applications to join.
Registration for Kedia Mini-MBA Edition 9 (September 12 to December 3, 2022) is open.. Register here. The cost for the 12-week program is N60,000 or $140.
The main objective of the program is to enable female tech startup founders to build strong technology startups, accelerate project ideas into proven business models and create connections between diverse African ecosystems.
The program provides income to technology developers and designers as well as marketing and finance professionals who work to support and mentor their teams. The program will run for five (5) months from August to December, including training boot camps and a pitching competition, a two-month internet incubation program involving two of the best startups from each country.
In Africa, Kenyan women founders of tech startups are said to attract the most funding on the continent. After taking a careful look at why women-owned startups receive less funding, experts point out that most women-owned startups in Africa are often focused on unrelated sectors, such as health tech and edtech. It is said to be one of the main reasons for not attracting significant funding.
Also, there are fundamental biases and beliefs that women-driven ventures represent riskier bets, and fewer women’s incubation programs were among other factors that made it difficult for female founders to attract investments.
Female-led startups are also less likely to receive equity financing, giving investors less confidence in their venture’s growth prospects, some experts say. Instead, most bank borrowers are reported to pursue various financing options, opting to avoid income.
Although male-owned tech startups continue to receive the most funding in Africa, female founders outperformed, as tech companies led by women achieved 35% higher returns on investment than those led by men.
Investors and other venture capitalists who hold a strong bias against women’s startups are losing out by not funding women-led startups, experts say.
However, against the background of the growth in funding for African startups, it is surprising to note that the investment and financing growth of women-led startups by 2022 has increased dramatically. In the last three years.