Visa has announced its plan in expanding Africa’s Women businesses through grant, a contribution towards the African Women Impact Fund (AWIF), a collaboration between Standard Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The grant will be utilised to fund the working capital needs of women fund managers across South, East, and West Africa and will target 55 women who responded to AWIF’s call to action and have been part of their programme since 2020. Visa’s grant to the AWIF is an extension of the She’s Next program, a global advocacy program for women-owned businesses that has been expanded to Sub-Saharan Africa to further champion and strengthen African women business owners as they build, sustain, and advance their businesses.
Announcing the initiative, Senior Vice President and Head of sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, Aida Diarra, said: “The aim of She’s Next to help women owned businesses thrive and our ambition with this grant is to enable access in a space where women owned firms are under-represented. Through this programme we aim to ensure that women are not only recipients but become decision-makers where institutional funding for businesses is concerned,”
Global Markets Head, Strategic Partnerships at Standard Bank Group, Lindeka Dzedze, sads: “We are elated to have Visa partner with Standard Bank and grateful for their meaningful contribution to the African Women Impact Fund. Standard Bank sees gender equity not only as a fundamental human right but also as a business imperative. The group believes that the economic empowerment of women is essential to raising Africa’s economic output and creating sustainable jobs, especially within the small enterprises that drive growth on the continent.”