This learning brief summarizes lessons learned across two of ANDE's Advancing Women's Empowerment Fund (AWEF) cohorts in Africa and Asia. The eleven AWEF grantees had similar experiences across their different regions and time periods, most notably in regards to the approaches and programming that are most successful and impactful in reaching women entrepreneurs. This evidence suggests that women entrepreneurs may face similar barriers to investment across varied geographies - and further, the solutions and programmatic adjustments that have found success may be more similar than we think.
"The gender financing gap persists. Women-led startups raise significantly less capital than startups led by only men. According to PitchBook Data, in 2021, 85.4% of global VC dollars went to startups with only men on the founding team.
That number has hardly budged over the past decade — despite the fact that data continues to suggest that women-led startups outperform startups with all-men founding teams. For example, a BCG study found that women-led companies generate more than twice as much additional revenue per dollar invested (78 cents versus 38 cents) and a PitchBook study found that women-led startups reach their exit stage a full year earlier than all-male-founded startups (median 6.4 years versus 7.4 years).
For investors, focusing on only a fraction of all entrepreneurs means they leave significant opportunities for returns on the table. For startups, this gender financing gap means promising innovations do not receive the resources they need to scale.
That is why Village Capital partnered with IFC, We-Fi, the World Bank, and researchers Amisha Miller and Saurabh Lall to identify and test several concrete ideas for how to help close the gender financing gap. With the support of a research coalition that also includes Visa Foundation, Moody’s, ANDE’s Advancing Women’s
Empowerment Fund, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and ANDE’s SGB Evidence Fund, we have identified several promising interventions.
Now we are sharing our results, and encouraging investors and accelerators to take action."
Come join us for an ANDE Members Networking Reception at Halcyon in Washington, D.C!
Climate change and gender inequality are among the world’s most pressing and complex development challenges. Women are catalysts for innovative solutions to tackle climate change. However, their underrepresentation in decision-making processes and labour markets means that women are prevented from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation. Recently, WUSC joined partners in celebrating the development of a new roadmap for climate finance and marked the culmination of a unique project at the intersection of climate finance and gender implemented by a consortium of partners including ANDE and AKFC and generously funded by Global Affairs Canada. The purpose of the Roadmap is to present recommendations to donors on how to facilitate women climate entrepreneurs’ access to appropriate climate finance, contributing to greater equality and inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa while advancing innovative and transformative women-led climate solutions.