To ensure that women are keyed into financial inclusion, the Managing Director of Branch Nigeria, a digital finance app that leverages on innovative outlook, Dayo Ademola has championed the chart for Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors in order to direct more funding towards female-led startups.
Ademola, who shed light on the large number of women trying to access funding for their business during the recent 2022 Forbes Leading Women Summit, said financial technology is a well-funded field but not much of it goes to female-founded outfits. “This is evident in the abysmal 3.2 percent funding that was awarded to female-led startups out of the whooping 3billion dollars attracted by Nigerian fintechs in the year 2021. A large proportion of the loan applications Branch receives are unsurprisingly from women who need working capital for their micro businesses.”
Speaking on the partnership, Ademola advised women who are looking to grow their businesses and careers to find a mentor. According to Ademola, “You invest in what looks like you and so we need more women-led angel investors and venture capitalists.
I think that as human beings, we are geared towards emulating what we see and what we believe to be the pinnacle of achievements. This would ensure women businesses get as much capital as needed.”
The summit explored the gaps in accessing funding for female-led business and attempted to raise solutions on what needs to be done.
Remarking on financial inclusion for women, Co-panelist, Odunayo Eweniyi, who is the Co-founder of Piggyvest, a digital savings platform said that there are myths that women are not building but the problem lies with discovery as a lot of partners are skewed towards funding the male-led startups in the sector. “Women need that belief capital, same as men, to be able to take these ideas off the ground. It is important that female-led startups are able to access funding at the early stage, as this would help these women founders catch up on their male counterparts at subsequent seed rounds.”
Eweniyi however called for a need to investigate the biases around funding male-led companies over their female counterparts as data shows that female-led businesses are performing at the same level as the male-led businesses. She said: “Not giving women funding is simply just a bad thing because those businesses are not underperforming.”