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Celebrating Prosper Africa’s Investment in Women

Women in Africa are key drivers of economic growth. Sub-Saharan Africa boasts the highest rate of female entrepreneurship globally, with about 26% of women involved in entrepreneurial activity. Enabling women to develop businesses, access higher-paying employment, and invest in themselves catalyzes economic growth and makes them strong business partners for US companies.

To tap into this opportunity, women need to be able to engage in the economy on an equitable footing. This is why Prosper Africa, through USAID’s Africa Trade and Investment Activity, is investing in African women, knowing that both the United States and African countries and their people will benefit when women-owned businesses grow, when women are welcome in the workplace, and when women are represented in male-dominated industries.

Below are some examples of Prosper Africa and USAID partners we are proud to work with across the continent who are helping us carry out this out:

Supporting women-owned businesses
Ethical Apparel Africa, a woman-owned and-managed firm in Ghana, has a unique mission: empower other women-owned businesses in the apparel sector. To do this, they provide technical and marketing assistance to help them increase their exports to the United States. Ethical Apparel takes a collaborative, supportive cluster approach, working with several businesses at once to provide compliance assessments and baseline evaluations, helping them lower operational costs to become competitive in the export market.

Ethical Apparel Africa works to catalyze growth and profit of women owned apparel business while creating more opportunities for others up, down, and across the supply chain.

Improving the enabling environment for female employees
Hela Intimates EPZ, based in Kenya, is one of the region’s largest apparel exporters. With 78% female workforce, Hela Intimates set up on-site childcare facilities that offer early childhood education, qualified caregivers, and nursing rooms—to allow mothers to navigate full-time employment. Hela Intimates recognizes the value of women as both mothers and employees, and the fundamental role they play in business and at home.

HELA Intimates’ onsite childcare facilities.

Increasing the number of women in male-dominated industries
Kuramo Capital, an investment management firm, investing in women through its Moremi Accelerator Program. So far, 25 female fund managers have benefitted from institutional training, capacity building, and tailored support to early-stage fund managers alleviate risks and close their first deals. Nearly 50% of these fund managers are investing with a dual gender and climate lens. By expanding the number and capacity of female fund managers, Kuramo is creating new opportunities for women investors and generating investment in women-driven startups.

Kuramo Capital celebrates the impact of women fund managers.

Together with its partners, Prosper Africa is creating conditions for women to engage equitably across value chains and in the many different roles they play in the economy. Empowering women will lead expansion of the formal workforce, heightened exports and trade, increased investment opportunities, and a bolstering of economies and communities across Africa.