Visa is proud to announce its partnership with She Leads Africa, a leading platform that connects female entrepreneurs with the right information and tools that they need to create thriving businesses in their communities. This partnership forms part of Visa’s ‘Where you Shop Matters’ initiative which was launched in June. It is an initiative that aims to champion and enable entrepreneurs across Africa while encouraging consumers to support small businesses by shopping local.
Women are the backbone of African economies, and according to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Entrepreneurship Report 2018/2019, the highest rates the total entrepreneurial activity for women are found in Sub-Saharan Africa (21.8%). Although women are involved in entrepreneurial activity, women in Sub-Saharan Africa tend to face a much higher likelihood of business discontinuance than men.
Through the She Leads Africa Spotlight series, Visa will provide a platform for successful female entrepreneurs, with incredible stories, who will share their business journeys, especially by transitioning to digital channels, in a bid to inspire and help upcoming entrepreneurs spread across Africa. The partnership also includes a This is how I did it series which features digital marketing experts that will provide women with the tools to advance their digital businesses.
Visa’s initiative is helping to support small businesses through the Visa Small Business Hub, a merchant platform providing tools and information on how to start, run and grow small businesses. The platform also features leading merchants who embody the passion and highlights the entrepreneurship journey of small businesses across the continent.
Kemi Okusanya, Vice President, Visa West Africa shares, “our partnership with She Leads Africa, will enable us to engage over 700,000 female entrepreneurs across Africa through digital channels and direct engagements with female owned businesses.” She also expresses Visa’s commitment towards supporting female entrepreneurs, especially with the current economic realities, and the need for more collaborations within the ecosystem to drive economic recovery.
Afua Osei, Co-Founder of She Leads Africa shares, “we are so grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Visa to support the incredible women in our community with learning and growth opportunities. Our community is passionate and committed to making an impact with their businesses and partnering with Visa enables us to share resources that will help them take it to the next level.”
African women entrepreneurs continue to face a myriad of challenges ranging from cultural barriers that require overcoming the narrow classification of child-bearer and or home manager, to a shortage of role models, inadequate access to financial assistance and limited educational opportunities.
Kemi concludes, “There are too many reasons why female-led organisations fail to flourish and we as Visa are committed to addressing these challenges by partnering with organisations such as She Leads Africa so that we can empower the next generation of female African businesses owners with the tools to not only survive but to thrive.”