Women are key players in agriculture, but few are engaged in agribusiness. This is largely because women face challenges that bar their entry to this lucrative sector, including poor access to markets, market intelligence, finance and other business services, and because they commonly lack the technical, management and leadership skills needed to drive an enterprise forward.
VALUE4HER has called for women-led agribusinesses in southern and eastern Africa to register for an agribusiness intelligence network. This network will encourage links and sharing of experience among women-led agribusinesses and help agripreneurs to link with women-led suppliers, to benefit other women in the value chain. Agribusinesses that register are also eligible to participate in the project’s activities, including training and the chance to apply for a competitive grant aimed at spurring innovation.ACTIVITIES
The project is developing digital databases of women entrepreneurs and building a knowledge base on the performance of women-led agribusinesses that will be used to inform development efforts and policy-making. Building on this, the project is developing the first portal for African women in agribusiness to enhance networking and connection to markets. The project is also organising business-to-business fairs and matchmaking events for women agripreneurs in Africa.
The project is addressing the challenge of poor access of women to finance by providing a competitive innovation fund to enhance linkages between women-led agribusinesses and women lower down the value chain. It also promotes efficiency measures, including the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). This is complemented by advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting efforts to address key economic barriers to women’s entrepreneurship. Part of this includes a global forum on women in agripreneurship and a Women Agripreneur of the Year award to recognise entrepreneurs who have excelled and shown remarkable innovation in their business.
Lack of management and leadership skills is being addressed through training for women entrepreneurs.IMPACT The project will support 100 large women-led agribusinesses in accessing high-value markets, which will benefit 10,000 medium-scale women agribusinesses and 50,000 individuals. The business e-hubs will reach 100,000 women involved in agribusiness. The project will also contribute to learning about women in agribusiness and agricultural value chains, the economic empowerment of women and barriers for women entrepreneurs. Eighty women have so far received training on business management and networking in Eastern Africa and Southern Africa.COUNTRIES
Botswana, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somali, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, ZimbabwePARTNER ORGANISATIONSAfrica Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum; African Women in Agribusiness Network