We work with women because promoting gender equality is one of the most effective ways to solve the most challenging social problems facing our world today.
While Africa has the highest concentration of women entrepreneurs in the world, they face many significant challenges – many of which increased due to COVID-19. The greatest challenge for women entrepreneurs is access to financial services. The African Development bank estimates a funding gap of $42 billion between male and female entrepreneurs. In 2019, only 5% of total invested capital in Africa went to women.
yher Africa Invest is a new program for ygap that builds upon our existing ‘yher’ accelerator programs. It addresses a gap we have seen first hand for women entrepreneurs over the past 10 years.
It will support a group of carefully selected African women entrepreneurs on their journey to raising suitable capital. The five participants have been chosen from the alumni participants of previous ygap programs across Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. In order to address the existing gap, the program works on both the demand and supply sides of capital supporting the entrepreneurs, whilst also working with a group of selected funders looking to strengthen their application of gender lens investing.
The program acknowledges the unique challenges that women entrepreneurs face as well as their unique investment profile
ygap and the yher Africa team have conducted detailed research and partner scoping that led to the eventual program design of the yher invest Program. As the 2022 yher invest Program is the pilot, we have developed a theory of change for the program as well as key learning questions that we wish to address.
The program includes a:
At the end of the program we expect the following outcomes:
We will be collecting data from the program participants as per our monitoring, evaluation and learning standard across three surveys: before the program starts, after the program ends and twelve months after program completion.
The key outcomes we will be monitoring against include:
After analysing the endline survey results, we will be reflecting as a team on the progress towards the outcomes and program learnings. This will then be shared with the participants as well as other stakeholders. A year after the program, we will do a similar process with the follow-up survey results and team reflection hoping to build upon this pilot and inform all of ygap's programs globally in order to increase access to capital for women-led businesses.
ygap is an international organisation focused on reducing inequality through entrepreneurship that is inclusive.
We believe that business can be a force for good, and that entrepreneurship is key to solving the most challenging social and environmental problems facing our world today. But for this to happen, the world’s diversity must be represented in creating these solutions and the systems that enable them to succeed.
We work with ‘missing’ entrepreneurs – key segments of the population under-represented in entrepreneurship because they face barriers to launching a business. This might be for economic or social reasons, or because of who they are or where they live.
Women, refugees and migrants, climate-focused and rural entrepreneurs are our priority.
We work directly with entrepreneurs, increasing their capacity and agency to run successful businesses. And, we also work to level the playing field for every entrepreneur by breaking down barriers and increasing access to finance, markets and support systems.
By offering the necessary support and resources, ygap strives to enable all entrepreneurs to create, launch, scale and sustain businesses that are making an impact.
Since 2008, we have run 59 programs that have supported 616 ventures – the majority led by women.