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How Women Got Short End of Start-up Stick

More than 97 percent of investments made into African start-ups between 2013 and 2021 went to male-led start-ups with female techpreneurs in the continent being less likely to be pitched for equity financing.

A report titled In Search of Equity: Exploring Africa’s Gender Gap in Start-up Financing prepared in collaboration with the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) and Briter Bridges, found major disparities between male and female owned start-ups in Africa.

The survey indicates there has been a disproportionate funding of female-led African start-ups where the funding deals that have taken place between 2013 and 2021, only three percent of all the billions invested into African start-ups went to female-owned start-ups.

On the flip side, 76 percent of the total funding during the eight-year period went to start-ups led by all-male teams.

Dario Guiliani, founder of Briter Bridges, a research and intelligence company focused on underserved markets in Africa and Europe, said female tech start-up founders are noticeably fewer in sub-sectors like the fintech space that is known to attract the most investment.

During Nation Digital Summit in Mombasa organised by Nation Media Group this month, Wale Akinyemi, said despite increase in tech start-ups, most women are disadvantaged due to lack of funding and inadequate knowledge of know how.

Dr Akinyemi stressed the need to embrace women and youth in organisational decision-making process to bring change and adopt technology.

“Many African organisations do not have youth in senior positions which are critical in decision making hence those deciding on behalf of organisations fear digitalisation and hold back organisations,” said Dr Akinyemi.

Data from various sources show that start-ups in Africa received a record-breaking over $4 billion in 2021 — more than double the investments in 2020.

The East African






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