The “Women’s Investment Club” (WIC) Senegal and Ecobank have signed a one billion CFA franc (USD1,600,000) collaboration contract to support female entrepreneurship in Senegal.
The symbolic cheque was officially given up by Ecobank’s Managing Director, Sahid Yallou, and Evelyne Dioh Simpa, Executive Director of WIC Capital Senegal.
“This one-billion-franc financial partnership is core component of the “Ellever” program, which aims to support women’s activities that encourage financial independence by making it easier for them to use modern and suitable financial instruments.Despite the fact that Senegal has a well-developed and active entrepreneurial fabric, one of the most significant hurdles to expansion is a lack of capital. This is how the project helps female company owners and entrepreneurs,” Yallou explained.
Female business, he claims, has enormous potential, but women’s capacity is underexploited. “We’ve chosen a collaborative strategy to ensure that we’re focusing on the relevant targets and issues,” he explained.
Evelyne Dioh Simpa maintains that by uniting resources and efforts, it will be feasible to guarantee that women-owned SMEs receive ever more sustainable financial support for growth. “This collaboration comes at an excellent time for female enterprises,” she believes.
In Senegal, women’s access to capital is extremely limited, and they are frequently limited to traditional financial institutions such as banks and microfinance companies. According to statistics, 43.9 percent of Senegalese women entrepreneurs who borrow money do so from family and friends, while only 3.5 percent use financial institutions.
In addition to the lack of platforms that provide necessary capacity building and technical help, the development of firms driven by women entrepreneurs is impeded by the lack of access to capital.
As a result, despite their high potential, many businesses fail to expand up, and 99 percent of them remain small businesses.
A group of Senegalese women leaders got together to form the Women’s Investment Club (WIC) Senegal in response to the financial, technical, and operational problems that women entrepreneurs confront, as well as the huge growth prospects that this segment presents.
WIC Senegal launched WIC Capital in March 2019, the first investment fund in French-speaking West Africa that focuses on women-led businesses.
Through the 11 billion CFA franc investment scheme, local and international private and institutional investors pool their resources to invest in micro and small women-owned firms (MSMEs) in Senegal and Ivory Coast.
The Fund invests in companies that were founded by women, are registered or managed by at least 50% women, or have a female-dominated management team across all industries.