Kenya & Rwanda

Second Chance Success

March 2020 - 2022

Blended Finance Approaches to Women’s Economic Empowerment

Overview

When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to global peace and stability. Yet, lack of access to finance is one of the major barriers facing women entrepreneurs around the world.

While the women’s access-to-finance gap is well documented, little research exists which examines viable approaches that improve access to capital for women entrepreneurs. Without proven approaches, investment funds will not apply a gender lens to their investments, which perpetuates this gap. The Second Chance Success project seeks to identify and test strategies that remove barriers to women entrepreneurs’ access to capital. By sharing the results, best practices, and lessons learned from the Second Chance Success pilot, the project can make the business case to finance women entrepreneurs and also why GLI approaches are effective. This, in turn, can build the confidence of investors. Ultimately, greater investor confidence will lead to increased capital flows to women-owned businesses and investments that use a gender lens. 

Project Updates

How digital finance creates decent work for women in agriculture

With equal access to resources, women could contribute much more to the economy. The FAO estimates that if women farmers (43 percent of the agricultural labor force in low and middle-income countries) had the same access as men, agricultural output in 34 low and middle-income countries would rise by an estimated average of up to four percent. This could reduce the number of undernourished people in those countries by as much as 17 percent, translating to 150 million fewer hungry people.

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Listen to our take on the state of agriculture today!

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve joined the podcast universe! Four MEDA staff members have contributed to the “Let’s Talk Agriculture” podcast that focuses on gender equality and social inclusion, agricultural financing, climate finance, and how to build inclusive agrifood market systems [Insert link].

When you subscribe, you’ll be able to hear the following:
Zakaria Isshaku, episode 6 – Building an inclusive agrifood market system [Insert podcast link and photo]

Agri-food market system expert Zak Issahaku breaks down what agri-food market systems are and their value to communities worldwide.

Dennis Tessier, episode 7 – Climate finance for sustainable agriculture [Insert podcast link and photo]

In this episode, Dennis explores how climate finance can play an essential role in mitigating the effects of climate change on the environment and communities in the Global South. This episode also covers MEDA’s services to its clients to adopt environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.

Regina Nyakinyua, episode 8 – On innovations for inclusive agricultural financing [Insert podcast link and photo]

Regina talks about the major challenges of agricultural finances and the current opportunities. The episode also covers MEDA’s unique approach to agri-finance.

Jennifer Denomy, episode 9 – Gender Equality and Social Inclusion [Insert podcast link and photo]

In this episode, Jennifer talks in detail about the value of gender equality and social inclusion in agriculture and how this will benefit communities, and the challenges and ways that local business owners can use to overcome gender equality challenges.

Stay in the loop! Remember to sign up for “Let’s talk Agriculture” for the latest podcast episodes.
The Storehouse [Insert link] has more content for you to explore. Read more to find out how MEDA provides those living in poverty with technical assistance and decent work opportunities to create prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.

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The Face of Sustainably Produced Cacao: MEDA’s Approach in Integrating Gendered Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) in the Philippine Cacao Market System

Globally, the face of sustainably produced or sourced cocoa tends to be more of an
environmental concern. Historically, cacao production is linked to deforestation,
biodiversity loss, and soil degradation in major cacao-producing countries. However,
taking the fundamental elements of market systems approach, sustainability transcends
environmental considerations. In MEDA’s integrated market systems approach, sustainability does
not only entail environmental aspects, but economic, social, and governance factors as well.

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Pathways to Careers in Development: A Conversation with Mujtaba Ali, Technical Specialist (Level II) in Environment and Climate Change

In our “Pathways to Careers in Development” series, we interview staff members about their journey towards careers in international development. In our second blog, we talk with Mujtaba Ali, Technical Specialist (Level II) in Environment and Climate Change, about what drew him er to the international development sector, hiser thoughts on the sector today, and advice she can provide for future practitioners.

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MEDA launches Kenya project to strengthen economies, foster thriving businesses for future generations

MEDA formally launched its Leveraging Equality for Gender Inclusive Economic Development (LEGEND) project with an in-person event held on January 26th, 20223. Over six years, this project will support 250 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 30,000 small entrepreneurs (SEs), 100 associations, and other business ecosystem actors in nine targeted counties in Kenya’s Lake and Coast regions.

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Pointing the way

Encouragement from a friend and a visit from a leading politician has taken the Tanzanian entrepreneur on a seven-year business journey. That journey is improving the lives of many of her fellow citizens.

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A new mindset on Africa

“We have to recognize Africa’s place in the global food system,” the Nigerian entrepreneur, author, public speaker, philanthropist, and consultant Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli said in a speech at MEDA’s annual convention in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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Hiring the best people for the job

A Manitoba manufacturer has successfully tackled a labor shortage by paying greater attention to an overlooked talent pool — women. Vidir vertical storage solutions plants are located outside of major urban centers. That means it has a smaller available workforce, Carissa Rempel said in a presentation at MEDA’s annual convention.

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Videos

Funder

This program was undertaken with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development.

Partners

Criterion Institute, Volta Capital and Business Partners International (BPI)