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Agence Ecofin
21 April 2022 Last update on Thursday, April 21, 2022 At 7:30 AM

Between 2019 and 2021, companies headed by women raised less funds in Africa. This trend continued, during the first three months of 2022 when they obtained only 1.5% of the $1.8 billion raised by all African start-ups.

In Africa, start-ups led by women mobilized $28 million in financing in the first quarter of 2022, the Ecofin Agency learned from a recent publication by the Africa platform: The Big Deal. This amount represents 1.5% of the $1.8 billion in funds raised by African startups over the period.

For the platform, this percentage “is the lowest of the last three years”. “In Africa, a small part of the funding goes to start-ups led by women,” she adds. Between 2019 and 2021, these raised $381 million out of a total of $7.4 billion raised by all African start-ups.

The highest fundraising by women-owned businesses is $288 million, dating back to 2021. Although this amount is “incredibly low”, representing 6.5% of the $4.4 billion raised by start-ups that year, it is still the highest compared to the years 2020 (2.4% of funds raised out of $1.7 billion mobilized) and 2019 (3.9% of funds raised out of a total of $1.3 billion).

These data hide strong disparities between countries. Within the “big four” which brings together the four major African states in terms of fundraising (Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt), Kenya shows the best performance. In 2019, start-ups led by women captured 29% of total funds raised compared to 17% in 2019.

Egypt posted the worst performance. “Of nearly $900 million raised by start-ups in the country between 2019 and 2021, less than $4 million (0.4%) was raised by women-led businesses,” laments Africa: The Big Deal.

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