Africa: Women Creating Wealth – Intergenerational Initiative – Helping Women Entrepreneurs to Start Creating Inter-Generational Wealth
Achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment and youth participation is integral for economic growth on the African continent. Research has shown that money in the hands of women goes a long way to addressing poverty and inequality. According to the World Bank, more women than men are more likely to invest in their families and communities, leading to poverty alleviation.
The challenge, however, is that most women-owned businesses remain survivalist; they create an income and depend on the owner to be actively involved full-time but do not create long-term wealth. Additionally, they face unique challenges when it comes to accessing investment to scale their businesses as well as accessing markets. Therefore, they require support that helps them navigate these challenges to evolve their businesses from income generation to wealth creation.
This is why The Graça Machel Trust (GMT) is excited to announce its partnership with Mastercard Foundation to help women-owned and led Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (WSMMEs) grow and scale while creating employment opportunities for African youth. The Women Creating Wealth – Intergenerational Edition (WCW-l) will address the existing challenges that hinder the growth of WSMMEs, as well as the individual and ecosystem levels. As a result, the two organizations hope to accelerate and sustain the creation of meaningful employment for young people while helping women entrepreneurs build long-lasting businesses.
Through this three-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, GMT hopes to support at least 3,500 businesses and enable women and youth in Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia, to become agents of change, build their own futures and contribute significantly to the success and development of Africa.
The support from Mastercard Foundation is timely, as GMT continues to make strides in its mission of transformative impact on Africa’s economies by empowering women entrepreneurs and building a gender-responsive enterprise development system. With this funding, GMT will provide women entrepreneurs in targeted sectors with the right tools, resources, and environment for their businesses to increase their incomes and create wealth, leading to more meaningful work opportunities for thousands of African youth on the continent. The commitment made by the Foundation to advance gender-responsive programming and research has seen positive results in contributing to gender equality and youth participation, performance and opportunities and also addressing some of the challenges.
“At the Graça Machel Trust, we believe that women entrepreneurs have the power to transform African economies and create meaningful work opportunities for the youth. Through our Women Creating Wealth Intergenerational Initiative, we have committed ourselves to provide women with personal, leadership and entrepreneurship capacity-building and access to a supportive community. We are confident that with the right support, these women can grow their enterprises while providing jobs and skills transfer so that the next generation of women entrepreneurs starts off more knowledgeable, empowered, resilient and with a much bigger vision of what they can accomplish” – Melizsa Mugyenyi- CEO, Graça Machel Trust.