Visa is launching She’s Next, Empowered by Visa, in Africa, to encourage female micro-and small-business owners as they fund, run and grow their businesses across the continent.
The global expansion of this program, announced today at the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, is part of Visa’s on-going commitment to support female entrepreneurs.
Visa and the International Trade Centre (ITC) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding launching a new partnership to increase the financial inclusion of small businesses and women-owned small businesses globally by helping empower them to participate in international digital trade economy.
The number of women entrepreneurs is growing around the world, with 163 million starting businesses since 2014 alone. Additionally, the highest percentage of these women are in Africa, where 26% of women start or manage a business. She’s Next in Africa will harness the power of Visa’s global brand and network to build awareness of these women entrepreneurs and invest in them to provide them with tools to build their businesses.
“Women entrepreneurs are the backbone of local economies, and the need for support is real. Closing the gender gap requires persistent hard work and support,” said Aida Diarra, senior vice president and group country manager, Visa Sub Saharan Africa. “That is why Visa is using its voice to shine a light on the contributions and economic potential of female-owned micro-and small-businesses around the world.”
Women typically reinvest up to 90% of their income in the education, health and nutrition of their families and communities – compared to up to 40% for men – which makes investing in women’s businesses one way that Visa can help transform societies.