On September 16th and 17th, MEDA and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) hosted a virtual two-day women entrepreneur symposium that brought together 97 participants from small and growing businesses (SGBs), investors, financial service, and technical assistance providers from East Africa. The symposium discussed key learnings from MEDA’s Invest 001, Second Chance program (funded by USAID) and shared lessons on gender lens investing (GLI) and financial inclusion for women. SGBs also shared their investment experiences with each other and networked with stakeholders from the investment industry.
Among the notable speakers were Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO of MEDA, Khatuchi Khasandi of East Africa Regional Chapter Manager, ANDE, Yedau Ogoundele, Managing Director, Investments and Fundraising at SouthBridge Investments, and Seema Hogil, Head of Agriculture, East Africa, Acumen.
The symposium’s speakers discussed the challenges that women face when trying to access finance from financial institutions, including limited entrepreneur financial literacy and inadequate investor understanding about the benefits of providing finance to women entrepreneurs. Yet, many constructive solutions were presented, such as greater capital support, training, tailored financial products, and the importance of GLI being used throughout the investment process.
The event was well received by attendees and speakers and the event’s organizers thanked the attendees for their participation in the symposium and the panelists for their time and insight. MEDA and ANDE expressed their gratitude to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and USAID for their support of the M-SAWA and Second Chance projects.
To gain further insights from this thought-provoking symposium, click here.