Experts in the digital and financial sectors have listed ways that women can access affordable financial products and services to boost their businesses.
They spoke against the backdrop of low funding for female founded financial technology outfits, evident in the abysmal 3.2 per cent funding awarded to female-led startups out of the whopping $3 billion attracted by Nigerian Fintechs in 2021.
Speaking during the recent 2022 Forbes Leading Women Summit, Dayo Ademola, managing director at Branch Nigeria, a leading digital finance app providing financial services such as loan and payment solution to individuals, lamented that a large number of women were trying unsuccessfully to access funding for their business.
She advised women who are looking to grow their businesses and careers to find a mentor.
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In the same vein, Odunayo Eweniyi, co-panelist who is also the co-founder of Piggyvest, a digital savings platform, lamented the trend where funding was skewed towards male-led startups in the sector. She said a lot of venture capitalist (VC) have a male-dominated portfolio and would argue that this was due to lack of awareness of female startups in need of funding.
Eweniyi however did not quite agree with this notion as she said venture capitalists needed to put in the work to seek out female-owned companies to fund, especially at the early stage.
“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,” she said.
Eweniyi also called for a need to investigate the biases causing VCs to fund 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.
“Not giving women funding is simply just a bad thing because those businesses are not under performing,” she said.