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  • Writer's pictureKanto Ranaivosoa

Time to Act: Severe Funding Gap Between Men and Women in Tech!

The African tech space has the promise to overflow with impactful ideas, but a frustrating imbalance persists: there is a major lack of funding for women-led tech startups. This disparity poses urgent societal but also economic questions, and thus demands concrete solutions.

Let's explore the roots and see how we can shift the paradigm!

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In 2022, African female-founded startups secured only 22% of all funding rounds, raising a mere 4% compared to 96% for their male counterparts.

So, why this alarming difference?

Reason 1: Lack of self-efficacy and confidence Bombarded with discouraging data and facing persistent stereotypes, women may struggle to see themselves as capable entrepreneurs able to raise funds in a competitive landscape. This can create a sense of unease, often subconscious, that can significantly affect pitching performance for example. In fact, they still raise less funds even when they have the opportunity to pitch VC firms.

Reason 2: Male-dominated ecosystem The venture capital and tech investment world remains largely male, creating a network and culture often unfamiliar to women entrepreneurs. As they may feel intimidated by the perceived impenetrability of the panel, women can be reluctant from seeking investment opportunities.

But we should move away from individual self-blame and recognize the systemic roadblocks women navigate. There is a necessity for comprehensive action on multiple fronts, to bridge the gap, not widen it.

How to begin the real journey of financial inclusiveness?

Step 1: Boosting women's ambition and their entrepreneur identity It is crucial to encourage them to believe in their potential and not be discouraged by negative statistics. Mentorship programs tailored for female entrepreneurship in various cultural landscape can play a critical role. We have to show them that strong leadership can coexist beautifully with traditional and communal responsibilities. These values often seen as challenges are strengths that can foster businesses uplifting their communities.

Step 2: Providing better access to training and networks This involves connecting women entrepreneurs with experienced consultants and providing them with personal training to develop their skills and professional networks. Moreover, encouraging girls in STEM careers starting from university is a great way to put light on this field that may not be much intuitive to join.

Step 3: Supporting VC to genuinely foster inclusion Apart from the urgent need for venture capital firms to integrate diversity into their investment practices, more diverse boards could be a important stepping stone. Training on more inclusive startup evaluation can also help address all those biases that hinder efficient funding.

So, now is high time to stop penalizing women-led tech startups in Africa. By supporting their confidence, providing them with the necessary support, and encouraging investors to adopt more inclusive practices, we will unleash a great potential for innovation and growth across the continent. Remember, diversity fuels progress, and ignoring half the talent pool is not smart business. Africa is brimming with female talent in the tech space — let's not let it go to waste!

Do you know any initiatives that have been done to encourage Women in tech?

Share them with us!

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