Africa Leads the way in women entrepreneurs

The leadership of women in the African startup world

Frankfurt (Germany), May 2018.

African women’s entrepreneurship highest in the world, comprising 25.9 per cent of the female adult population is engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the region according the to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2016-2017 Women’s Report  African women’s workforce participation is also the highest worldwide, with an average of 40% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these relatively high numbers, female African entrepreneurs face significant challenges, and are more likely to exit businesses than men, citing profitability and access and to finance as issues. Due to cultural issues and biases, in many cases women’s entrepreneurial activity is either discounted or dismissed. Given the cumulative impact of women’s entrepreneurship, not counting women’s roles as mothers, educators, and providers, it is all the more important to support women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. With more than 163 million women starting businesses across 74 economies worldwide in the past year, we are excited  to see more  women developing innovative solutions and making an impact in Africa. We are encouraged to see the development of Women-focused funds, such as Backstage Capital, and seek to support more women’s entrepreneurship through our “results4equity” model.

Ms. Temitope Omotolani, Co-Founder and VP of Operations, is one such woman entrepreneur. She was recently profiled in the third edition of Agrostrides Magazine, an African Agroindustry journal dedicated to inspiring the next generations of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology leaders through inspiring stories. The third edition was dedicated to highlighting women “making bold moves in the Agricultural Sector” featuring among others, Ms. Temitope Omotolani, Farmcrowdy Co-founder and VP of Operations as an example of successful female agribusiness entrepreneur.

Titled: “The Woman Behind the Farmcrowdy Board”, the article provides an insightful profile on Ms. Omotolani and her journey that helped make Farmcrowdy. Before Farmcrowdy, Temitope was a successful serial entrepreneur, running several businesses including makeup, cleaning services, and produce delivery logistics. Despite no formal agricultural training, Temitope quickly learned the ropes agricultural sector and quickly developed her delivery business to organizing markets and supporting farmers, to finally running her own tomato farm. As a young agricultural entrepreneur, she was introduced to co-founder Onyeka Akumah through a religious organization. At the time, he was trying to organize funds to help support a friend’s farm. Although the fundraising venture was not successful, the episode highlighted the opportunity to provide an alternative source of funding for farm projects, and provided the inspiration for founding Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s first agricultural platform. The platform focuses on brining together farm sponsors with real farmers to mutual benefit.  Temitope’s prior entrepreneurial experience in food logistics and dealing with rural farmers and markets, provided invaluable experience and insight in developing Farmcrowdy’s outgrower farmer operations, ensuring efficiency, transparency, and risk management. Tope quickly went from Farmcrowdy’s VP of Farm Products to VP of Operations, highlighting her drive, tenacity, skill.

GreenTec Capital CEO Erick Yong said “Ms. Omotolani represents the true dynamic and work ethic that we seek to work with any entrepreneur. It is clear to us that she is a key element in the success of Farmcrowdy.”

GreenTec is actively calling for more for more woman founders to get involved, such as with Ms. Brenda Katwesigye, of Wazi Vision, who’s health-tech start-up aims to expand access to eye care for rural Africans but also for more inclusive approaches as with ARED, which supports female micro-entrepreneurship through subsidized fees, micro-credit, and training. ARED has a goal of 90% female franchisees by 2020. The time is ripe to support women’s entrepreneurship in Africa, and GreenTec is actively seeking to support more dedicated and impactful women through our investments. We also recognize the progressive work of focus organization like “Lioness of Africa”    or the recent fund initiative of Arlan Hamilton from Backstage Capital, dedicated to Black and minority women as well as GMCcoLABS