Visa Unveils Initiative to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Concerned by the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in micro and small businesses in Africa and around the world, Visa has announced the launched an empowerment programme called She’s Next, which is to make things easier for them.

The initiative was unveiled at the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Cape Town, South Africa and it is one of the global expansion programmes of the leading digital payment firm. It was designed to encourage female micro-and small-business owners as they fund, run and grow their businesses across the continent.

At the event, Visa and the International Trade Centre (ITC) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding launching a new partnership to increase the financial inclusion of small businesses and women-owned small businesses globally by helping empower them to participate in international digital trade economy.

The number of women entrepreneurs is growing around the world, with 163 million starting businesses since 2014 alone. Additionally, the highest percentage of these women are in Africa, where 26 percent of women start or manage a business.

According to Visa, She’s Next in Africa will harness the power of Visa’s global brand and network to build awareness of these women entrepreneurs and invest in them to provide them with tools to build their businesses.

“Women entrepreneurs are the backbone of local economies, and the need for support is real. Closing the gender gap requires persistent hard work and support,” said Aida Diarra, senior vice president and group country manager, Visa Sub Saharan Africa. “That is why Visa is using its voice to shine a light on the contributions and economic potential of female-owned micro-and small-businesses around the world.”

Women typically reinvest up to 90 percent of their income in the education, health and nutrition of their families and communities – compared to up to 40 percent for men – which makes investing in women’s businesses one way that Visa can help transform societies.

Launched in January 2019 in the United States, She’s Next, Empowered by Visa is expanding globally for the first time in Cape Town. With the expansion, She’s Next extends its signature pop-up events to offer networking opportunities for female entrepreneurs in Africa, including access to experts.

She’s Next, Empowered by Visa in Africa continues the success of Visa-supported programs focusing on small businesses, as well as female entrepreneurship.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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