2X Challenge members launch business competition in Africa

My Post 21FinDev Canada, CDC Group (CDC), Proparco of France and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) along with the Mastercard Foundation have announced the Women Deliver 2019 Conference to sponsor the 2X Invest2Impact – Business Competition

The purpose of the competition is to support the growth of high-potential, women-owned businesses to increase their commerciality and impact. This major new initiative will support women entrepreneurs who have the potential to make a positive impact on their local economies and are strong candidates for investments from development financiers.

While there is no shortage of business competitions on the African continent, and many women-focused entrepreneurial forums, programs, and initiatives, 2X Invest2Impact will stand out by focusing on growth stage women-owned businesses, poised for investment capital. 2X Invest2Impact will provide them with mentorships, business development services, visibility and the opportunity for funding.

“The credit gap for women-owned SMEs globally is estimated at US$287bn. This means that 70 per cent of women-owned SMEs cannot access the financing they need to grow a business. This competition aims to directly address this,” said Paul Lamontagne, managing director of FinDev Canada.

“We also know that there is a persistent disconnect between investors and development financiers who are seeking to invest in women-owned businesses and those women owners who are looking to grow their companies. Our 2X Invest2Impactinitiative will help bridge that gap by bringing high-quality women-owned businesses together with interested investors,” noted Jen Braswell, director, value creation strategies, CDC.

The goals of 2X Invest2Impact are to:

· Directly reach women-owned businesses that may otherwise face barriers in accessing investment capital

· Contribute to the community of women business owners and leaders in the region

· Gather and share learnings on women in business and gender-lens investing;

· Increase visibility and momentum for gender-lens investing

· Pilot an investment prospecting model that could be replicated in other regions

“Africa is home to more female entrepreneurs than any region in the world. Through 2X Invest2Impact, OPIC is proud to join its 2X Challenge partners and MasterCard Foundation in providing a platform for female entrepreneurs to showcase their successful enterprises and to access critical expansion capital. We are not only reaching these female entrepreneurs but also showing the world what African women can do when they are empowered,” said Kathryn Kaufman, OPIC managing director for global women’s issues.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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