Wic Capital secures $1m to fund female-led SMEs in francophone Africa
Wic Capital, a women-centric investment fund, has secured a credit line from the British investor FSD Africa to continue its entrepreneurial financing activities in Senegal and Ivory Coast. The funding is a $1 million loan from FSDAi Nyala Facility, an investment vehicle focused on sub-Saharan Africa.
Established by the Women's Investment Club Senegal in 2019, Wic Capital will use this loan to offer innovative products tailored to the structures of SMEs. This includes providing capital, mentorship, and organizing training sessions to support these businesses operating in a market where access to financing poses a significant obstacle to their growth.
The amount to be invested per project and the number of companies benefiting from this initiative has not been disclosed. According to Anne-Marie Chidzero, Director of Investments at FSD Africa, the manager of the FSDAi Nyala Facility vehicle, this financial contribution will enable Wic Capital to attract additional funds necessary to expand its strategy.
In Senegal, approximately 31% of entrepreneurs are women, with a significant portion engaged in small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs). However, these women encounter challenges in obtaining loans from financial institutions, with only around 3.3% successfully accessing such financial assistance. This information is based on research conducted by the Women’s Investment Club (WIC). Evelyne Simpa, the managing director of WIC Capital, highlighted the financial challenges faced by women-led SMEs in Senegal. She pointed out that these entrepreneurs struggle to secure the financing needed for their business growth. In addition to financial barriers, women entrepreneurs often lack access to networks and training opportunities that could provide them with the knowledge and assistance necessary for expanding their businesses. This underscores the importance of addressing both financial and non-financial barriers to support the growth of women-led enterprises in Senegal.