Network News

Tuesday 29th June 2021

This month, Alliance members and partners are…

Putting the Focus on Gender-Lens Finance and Investing

The IFC, in partnership with the Financial Times, launched the Transformational Business Awards 2021 with the addition of a new Gender-Lens Finance category which could be a good fit for Alliance members. The Awards, now in their 16th year, generate visibility for participating clients and help winners access new markets and audiences, gain more credibility with investors, and boost brand recognition. The deadline to apply is July 31st. Find out more and apply here.

Educate Global was one of the 11 GPs invited during May 2021 to co-design an Accelerator Facility as part of the 2X Challenge Flagship Fund program of the G7. Educate Global is now one of the first fund managers ‘buy rated’ by the Stanlib Multi-Manager selection team and has commitments (over 40%) from private sector investors only. The team is now preparing for the fund’s final closing ($100m) for the year-end 2021. EG will also be hosting the first event in its Gender-Lens Impact Investing Series on June 29th at 9am NYC / Johannesburg time.

Supporting Women Entrepreneurs

Access Bank’s W Initiative launched the 2021 edition of its Pitch-A-Thon, which provides contestants with funding opportunities, training and a mini-MBA designed in partnership with the IFC. The program was designed based on market research that Access conducted on why start-up businesses fail within the first two to five years. Four main drivers were identified—businesses lacked proper structure, business management skills and, access to finance and were not properly mentored.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) launched the third edition of its SheVentures mentorship program with a cohort of 120 WSMEs from across Nigeria that will complete a three-month curriculum, developed in partnership with Lagos-based NGO Women in Successful Career to help them scale their businesses.

On the financial services side, BRAC Bank created a new account for women entrepreneurs. The TARA Prothom Account is designed to provide banking facilities to unbanked micro, small and online business owners that are waiting for trade licenses and/or other documentation that can take time to acquire. Prothom accounts can be opened without trade licenses, with fewer required documents and a minimum balance, and charge interest on the daily balance only, which is credited half-yearly. Account holders also have access to no-fee debit cards.

Supporting Women Retail Customers

In addition to its WSME-focused account, BRAC Bank has introduced a new retail deposit product, the TARA Mukti Account. This account is interest-free as long as the customer maintains a certain average balance, enabling women to obtain a debit card free of cost.