KAMPALA — To increase economic inclusion and empowerment of women as well as create more decent jobs in African economies, the GIZ Employment and Skills Development in Africa Programme in Uganda (E4D), co-implemented by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has launched the kick-off of Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) project activities in Uganda.
The beneficiaries of this intervention will be enterprises managed and owned or co-owned by Ugandan women entrepreneurs who received grants from TEF.
This project is funded by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
This is a timely opportunity for female entrepreneurs in Uganda and the rest of Africa who are confronted with barriers that hinder them from succeeding. Women-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) lack access to financial resources and to professional support, among other challenges. These challenges have intensified because of the Covid-19 outbreak and its economic side effects. Broad action, including the creation of structures of technical assistance for entrepreneurs and access to finance is needed.
“Enabling women-led enterprises to integrate into local, regional and international value chains is the goal of the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa project. To achieve this, the project combines the expertise of its different partners to create a pathway to success for women entrepreneurs in Africa,” says Donald Agaba, the E4D Uganda Team Leader.
Somachi Chris-Asoluka, the Director of Partnerships and Communications at TEF explains that “The launch of the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa Programme is in line with the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s mission and commitment to eradicating poverty, driving job creation and transforming the African continent by empowering young African entrepreneurs.”
Because of this partnership with the European Union and Caribbean and Pacific States, over 120 female entrepreneurs will receive the much-needed support in areas of additional funding up to EUR 50,000, access to market opportunities, knowledge enhancement, and technical training.
The WE4A project will contribute to closing existing gender gaps in the labour markets, especially in terms of quality of jobs. WE4A will ignite structural changes, as women who become successful entrepreneurs serve as role models in their societies and encourage other women and girls to pursue their choice of career.
Beyond the immediate effects on directly supported enterprises, WE4A will improve the support structures for African women entrepreneurs through collaboration with entrepreneur associations, financial institutions and local service providers. Additionally, the programme will help African MSMEs navigate through the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is expected that because of the WE4A project across Africa, 2,200, women-led enterprises’ capacities will be enhanced. 2,800 additional jobs will be created in women-led enterprises 5,300 existing jobs will be secured and 120 women-led enterprises shall secure second stage financing to further expand their businesses.