Amazon-backed Climate Gender Equity Fund (CGEF) has selected the first cohort of women-led organizations focused on advancing gender-equitable climate action in Africa to receive grants for their activities.
The Climate Gender Equity Fund (CGEF) — a public-private partnership between Amazon and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with grants manager 2X Global and CGEF’s other founding members – has announced the names of organizations which will receive grants aimed at scaling new climate technologies while supporting female-led businesses.
The receivers of the grants include:
- Clean Technology Hub, Nigeria – an accelerator with a network of over 60 women-led startups working on clean energy and sustainability solutions in Africa;
- WomHub, South Africa – an accelerator that has supported more than 2,000 female STEM-business founders with funding, financial readiness skills, and leadership support, as well as backed girls’ STEM education efforts across 30 countries;
- M-Kyala Ventures, Kenya – an accelerator and advisory firm that has helped hundreds of women entrepreneurs across Africa get access to mentoring and networking and has driven more than $500,000 in funding to women-owned businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Since CGEF launched last November, its founding members, including USAID, Amazon, Reckitt, Visa Foundation, and The UPS Foundation, have committed a combined $20 million to the fund. Moreover, USAID announced an additional $5 million for the initiative during the COP28 climate change conference.
The funding will be used over the next few years for additional grants to businesses, investment vehicles, accelerators, incubators, and grassroots organizations supporting women-led and women-benefitting climate solutions. The new grantees will be chosen shortly.
The business environment across the African continent is not favourable for female entrepreneurs. Africa: The Big Deal, a venture capital and private equity data analytics hub, reported that in 2021, less than 1% of all funding raised by startups in Africa went to female single founders and female-only founding teams.
Therefore, leading financial industry players strive to support women entrepreneurs in the region.
Thus, Mastercard has recently introduced the Mastercard Strive Women program that aims to strengthen the financial well-being of small businesses in the APEC economies, focusing on female-led enterprises.
Visa announced it would invest $1 billion in Africa by 2027 to scale operations, deploy new innovative technologies and deepen collaboration with partners. Launching new programs to support women’s empowerment in Africa such as She’s Next is on the agenda as well.
Women-owned ventures in Africa can also profit from the Africa Development Bank’s funding. With $5 billion in funding from the AFDB distributed between 2021-2025, women enterprises will be able to expand their businesses.