AfDB Grants $1.8M to Empower Southern African Women Entrepreneurs

By: GWL Team | Monday, 11 December 2023

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has given $1.8 million to help female entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe and three other Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations. Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (Afawa) and the Export Trading Group (ETG) have signed a technical support agreement to help women in Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia improve their entrepreneurial abilities.

According to official figures, female micro, small, and medium firm owners will account for 60% of the industry by the end of 2022. The grant-funded initiative, Strengthening the Entrepreneurship Skills of Women-Owned and Led firms and Women Employees, intends to affect up to 3,600 women and women-led firms over the next four years.

The program, which was inked during the UN climate conference COP28 in Dubai, aims to integrate women into ETG's worldwide supply chain. Training programs will provide women employees with entrepreneurial attitudes, allowing them to have access to funding and market connections. ETG, a multinational agricultural supply chain business with operations in 40 Sub-Saharan African nations, seeks to achieve gender parity by facilitating access to climate-resilient and smart agricultural capabilities.

Afawa, a pan-African project, aims to eliminate the $42 billion funding gap between African women entrepreneurs and their male counterparts. Afawa and ETG's relationship is expected to enhance economic growth, food security, and empower women-led companies, particularly in rural regions. ETG's Farmers Foundation will also provide training and extension services to smallholder farmers, adding to the project's success.