Visa expands ‘She’s Next’ initiative to empower African women entrepreneurs

As the rate of women entrepreneurs across Sub-Saharan Africa continues to rise, Visa is expanding its global “She’s Next” initiative to empower women entrepreneurs on the continent, bringing practical insights and valuable tools needed to grow and advance their businesses.

New Visa research has revealed that 54% of ‘cash only’ merchants have missed business opportunities, with 70% of women-owned businesses expecting e-commerce to expand beyond the pandemic.

The She’s Next initiative comprises a series of programmes giving women entrepreneurs access to insights via research and engagement with small businesses, private and public sector communities, and educational resources. She’s Next, empowered by Visa, will also bring networking opportunities in partnership with She Leads Africa; a community of over 7,000,000 women entrepreneurs, and financial support and solutions to enable digital capability.

To coincide with the launch, Visa has unveiled new research titled Understanding Women Owned SMEs, which explores the role of technologies including digital payments in enabling the business success of female entrepreneurs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. The research highlights the top business challenges experienced by women entrepreneurs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, the impact of COVID-19 on these business and how digital payments have accelerated business growth in over 80% of the businesses surveyed.

“According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world, with 26% starting and managing a business on the continent in the last year. We aim to encourage and enable even more participation of women in driving the economy, through our She’s Next initiative,” said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa. “Our research shows that female-led businesses face unique challenges throughout their entrepreneurial journey and we are committed to helping these business owners across Africa to identify opportunities for growth.”

Author: Manda Banda

Source: Intelligent CIO

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