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Our story

Bridging the financing gap for Africa’s women entrepreneurs

15 years of experience working in finance provided a front row seat to the growing underrepresentation of African women entrepreneurs within the funding spectrum which was reiterated by AfdB’s 2019 report that estimated a financing gap of 42 billion dollars for African women entrepreneurs across all value chains. This being at the backdrop of Africa as the only continent with women as the largest percentage of entrepreneurs.

In researching this disparity, we spoke to 60 women in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and found three main bottlenecks; high collateral requirements, limited availability of suitable financial products and gender bias.

Across borders the stories were the same. Women were being denied loans that were being awarded to their husbands, when they applied in their stead.  Or failing to access products because of unrealistic collateral requirements even with proof of high value contracts.

It is stories like these that have shaped the strategic approach that we are taking to solving the access to finance challenge that women entrepreneurs are facing in Africa.

Our findings revealed that while there is interest in supporting women entrepreneurs, organizations do not always know how and where to start.

We also found that the metrics that only measure the number of women involved in business value chains, do not necessarily reflect the value attributed to those women.

In that way M-Kyala Ventures has been set up as a specialized strategy and advisory firm, to support organizations to develop robust strategies that address the financing challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

The support we provide enables organizations to analyze their existing processes and identify opportunities to develop and strengthen their gender approaches. This helps to place them in a better position to deliver measurable and sustainable value to women entrepreneurs.

We ran two practices; gender lens investing and gender for business to support organizations to develop robust outward and inward-looking gender strategies. Some of our services include designing gender toolkits for investment processes that enable funders to develop pipeline, perform due diligence, structure funding and provide business support with a gender lens. We also support organizations to integrate gender into their strategy and operations and develop relevant pathways to further their entrepreneurial support programming with the aim advancing gender inclusivity.

Our why

To drive innovative financial solutions that enable African women to start, run and grow successful businesses in an inclusive, equitable and unbiased entrepreneurial ecosystem. We work with partners to increase financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs and believe that money should reach women where they are already being successful.

We envision an entrepreneurial ecosystem that fairly represents women entrepreneurs and enables them to succeed by accessing relevant resources in an equitable and inclusive manner.