Visa expands ‘She’s Next’ initiative to empower African women entrepreneurs


As the rate of female entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa continues to rise, Visa expands its global ‘She’s Next’ initiative to empower women entrepreneurs on the continent, providing practical information and valuable tools needed to grow and advance their businesses .

A new study from Visa found that 54% of ‘cash-only’ merchants missed business opportunities, with 70% of women-owned businesses expecting e-commerce to grow beyond the pandemic.

The She’s Next initiative includes a series of programs that enable women entrepreneurs to access information through research and engagement with small businesses, private and public sector communities, and educational resources. She’s Next, empowered by Visa, will also bring networking opportunities in partnership with She Leads Africa; a community of over 7,000,000 women entrepreneurs; and financial support and solutions to enable digital capacity.

To coincide with the launch, Visa unveiled a new research titled Understanding women-owned SMEs, which explores the role of technologies, including digital payments, in the business success of women entrepreneurs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. Research highlights the main business challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, the impact of COVID-19 on these businesses and how digital payments have accelerated the growth of businesses in more than 80 % of companies surveyed.

“According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the world, with 26% starting and running a business on the continent in the past year. Our goal is to encourage and enable greater participation of women in driving the economy, through our She’s Next initiative, ”said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa. “Our research shows that women-led businesses face unique challenges throughout their entrepreneurial journey and we are committed to helping these business owners across Africa identify opportunities for growth.

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