IWD: Celebrating Three African Female Founders in GetFundedAfrica’s Network
Happy International Women’s Day to all the women out there, especially female founders.
It’s tough enough being a woman, whether single or married, working or stay-at-home, mother or childfree. Adding the role of a female founder into that mix signals another to the many balls women juggle to balance daily.
Female founders face a unique set of challenges. Only about 2% of VC funding goes to them. For these women in business, it is not a level playing field. They have a harder time convincing potential investors, who are accustomed to dealing with male CEOs and are still trying to wrap their minds around women-owned (led or co-founded) start-ups. Thanks to this mindset, VC firms created by African women and for African women enterprises are springing up on the continent to beat this bias.
Related: 5 Female Founders Inspiring the Next Generation of Females: Part 1
Interestingly, this year’s IWD campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity. The aim is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. There is a need for gender equity to be part of every society’s DNA.
Two other challenges female founders face are 1. They are less likely to get traditional business loans and 2. Women-owned businesses tend to suffer more than their male-owned counterparts in difficult times like recessions, economic crises, pandemics, etc.
Yet every day, courageous and talented women lead, launch and run successful start-ups on the African continent. They are showing up, creating jobs, pushing the boundaries, making positive changes in their communities and beyond, breaking down societal barriers and showing the next generation of women that there are no limits.
Related: Four Female-Focused Accelerator Programs for African Female Founders
Because, as we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the future of Africa is female. And representation matters. The rise of African female founders is to ensure that those who come after them look more and more like them.
Today, we celebrate three inspirational female founders within the GetFundedAfrica (GFA) network.
Andrea Kamara, Founder, Balance Bowl
Balance Bowl is a health tech company geared towards helping busy individuals maintain balance in their lives. Using technology on its platform, it provides healthy lifestyle support through high-quality content, access to health professionals and nutritious meals.
Andrea’s journey into healthy living began in Liberia where she was frustrated with the lack of African recipes and decided to cook healthy recipes using local ingredients. Within months, she had a small but loyal following online, and customers began ordering up to ten bowls of meals a day, prompting her to recruit a delivery service.
The company’s goal is to create a world where it’s easy to lead a healthier and happier life. Balance Bowl is building myfitnesspal meets Noom for Africa, by Africans – a suite of solutions adapted to the African unique health needs and lifestyle.
Founded in 2020, it has outlets in Lagos, Nigeria and Atlanta, USA.
Rukayat Bello, Founder, Regxta
This former banker of both commercial and microfinance institutions pooled her working experience to launch Regxta in 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The idea was born out of her mother’s experience two years prior. Mrs Bello was an unbanked, micro-business owner in a rural-urban area who needed funds to operate. When she approached a microfinance bank for a loan, she was denied because of a lack of credit history and geographical location.
Regxta is a finance company using alternative data and AI to help financially excluded individuals and micro-businesses access financial services, restructure and gather reliable insights for growth.
It is the first company to provide digital credit solutions to the unbanked, and it is here to stay and compete.
Zaineb Saadallah, Founder, epharmacy
Epharmacy is helping its customers (mostly women) recover some of that needed time in their daily lives in Tunisia.
Time is a scarce commodity these days. Even with the advancements in technology. We still scramble for precious moments to spend with loved ones, finish up work, and catch up on our favourite Netflix series. The start-up is a website where individuals can find and order paramedical products online for delivery within 48 hours or fewer.
Zaineb launched it in 2022, and it is one of the many start-ups in Africa focused on women and their myriad medical matters. This female founder combines her genetic makeup, intuition and business instinct to run a woman-centric business serving African women.
To also mark this day, GetFundedAfrica will offer the above female founders free GFA accounts for the month and will continue to support and highlight their achievements in the start-up ecosystem.
You too can celebrate female-founded businesses in any of the following ways:
- Share their products/services online.
- Mentor female founders.
- Spread the word about the work female founders are engaged in.
- Invest in female founders’ ideas.
- Connect them with relevant individuals/businesses who can support her within your network.
GetFundedAfrica is building Africa’s largest tech-enabled marketplace, connecting African founders with global mentors, coaches, corporates, investors, and government. Whether you want to raise funds ranging from $100, 000 to $50m or you simply want to grow your business, sign up for free at: www.getfundedafrica.com.