Closing the Gender Financing Gap: Inaugural Investments Signal a New Era in Impact-Driven Entrepreneurship
Standard Chartered has partnered with Village Capital to launch a pioneering financing facility aimed at supporting the Women in Tech program alumni.
The initiative, with a laser focus on early-stage, impact-driven startups led by women founders, aims to bridge the persistent gender financing gap prevalent in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This collaborative effort is set to inject much-needed catalytic capital into the entrepreneurial landscape, empowering women entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges they face in accessing investment and financing opportunities compared to their male counterparts.
With extensive research underscoring the critical need for gender-focused investment initiatives, this partnership is poised to provide dedicated support for women-led ventures addressing both local and global challenges.
Heather Matranga, Vice President, Impact Investments at Village Capital, expressed excitement about the partnership’s potential impact.
“We’re extremely excited to partner with Standard Chartered Bank to support their vision to lift participation of women globally by driving more investment capital to impact-driven women founders,” she said.
Through this pilot facility, the collaboration aims to offer innovative and catalytic financing tailored to the needs of women entrepreneurs across various business models and markets.
As a significant milestone in this collaboration, Village Capital proudly announces its inaugural investment in two women-led start-ups.
Bena Care, a Kenyan start-up offering affordable clinical and supportive care for patients with life-limiting illnesses at home, and Mighty Finance, a Zambian fintech start-up focused on providing capital access for primarily women-led businesses, are the first beneficiaries.
Each startup will receive USD 75,000, bringing the cumulative investment to an impactful $150,000.
Joyce Kibe, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand, and Marketing at Standard Chartered, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration.
“We are excited to partner with Village Capital to bolster our successful Women in Tech program, which has trained more than 70 women-led businesses, providing critical support to scale their ventures to international standards,” she stated.
“By supporting more women in business, we are stimulating robust and resilient economic activity while providing support for often neglected startup business inputs.”
Since its inception, Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech program has completed six cohorts, engaging 64 women-led businesses. Thirty-two of these businesses have been awarded grants totaling KES 44 million, showcasing the program’s success.
The new partnership reflects the shared commitment of Standard Chartered and Village Capital to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in impact investing.
Leveraging Village Capital’s extensive experience in unlocking capital for impact-driven startups in underserved markets and Standard Chartered Bank’s dedication to empowering women entrepreneurs, this collaboration is poised to make a lasting impact on the global entrepreneurial landscape.
It’s a powerful step toward fostering diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, signaling a new era in impact-driven entrepreneurship.