New Fund to Support African Women Entrepreneurs On the Way

The African Women's Leadership Network's second Women Leaders Forum for Africa's Transformation ended in Addis Ababa Thursday with Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, announcing the establishment of a fund to promote African women entrepreneurs as economic and business leaders.

The fund will provide sustainable investment capital to women-owned and led businesses, Ms. Songwe said in her presentation to the forum, adding it would be managed and administered by women for African women.

She said women have proven themselves as entrepreneurs and drivers of the economy but hurdles, in particular corruption, continue to impede their growth.

“Access to finance by women is critical if we are to attain the sustainable development goals as putting money in the hands of women will surely guarantee its better utilization for household livelihoods and quality care for families and reduce vulnerabilities and disease burdens,” said Ms. Songwe to African women leaders attending the forum.

“Promoting women entrepreneurs involves tackling not only issues of access to finance and services, but considering social and cultural impediments faced by African women entrepreneurs. Challenges for African women seeking financing for business of whatever size is fraught with many difficulties.”

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