Visa Champions Women Entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum on Africa

Visa Champions Women Entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum on Africa

Visa Champions Women Entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum on Africa “More than 163 million women around the world have started their own business in the last five years, accounting for up to 37% of the workforce[1]. Women entrepreneurship is on the rise and Visa is committed to inspiring more women to break through barriers through platforms like the Visa Everywhere Initiative,” said Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Visa. Since 2015, the Visa Everywhere Initiative has provided visionary solutions for commerce and payment challenges of tomorrow. The program has activated regionally in 75 countries and awarded more than 70 leading startups with monetary prizes, mentorship and access to Visa’s clients and partners. Now, for the first time, the program will shift from regionally-focused events to a worldwide program centered on FinTech and Social Impact to shine a spotlight on the millions of underrepresented women business leaders and Visa’s commitment to micro and small businesses catalyzing change. To participate, companies with at least one female founder are invited to submit solutions that tackle challenges facing the FinTech and Social Impact landscapes today through one of the two innovative briefs. · Challenge 1 (FinTech): Leveraging your company’s unique capabilities, how could your solution help transform consumer, payments and/or commercial experiences locally, regionally or globally? · Challenge 2 (Social Impact): How can women entrepreneurs around the world drive social impact by supporting sustainable and equitable livelihoods and strengthening local/regional economies? Additional program highlights: · All corners of the world[2]: Eligible participants will be divided into 6 regions: North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe (excluding France), France, Africa/Middle East. Each region will send one winner per challenge to the finals in Paris. · Important dates: Key dates for the program include: o Open for submissions- March 6th o Applications due April 14th o Regional finalists selected per region- May o Global Finals in Paris, France- June 7th · Finals activities: During the opening week of FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, finalists will participate in networking opportunities with Visa’s global partner network, and a final live-pitching event to determine the overall VEI winners. · Bridge of Support: To reward the most impactful solutions, Visa will provide $100,000 to each challenge winner, along with expert mentorship, access to clients and Visa’s vast network of partners. The winners will also receive tickets to the opening game of FIFA Women’s World Cup. · Global campaign: Visa will launch a global marketing campaign “Together as One” to celebrate the Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition. Eight former women VEI winners and finalists, representing regions around the world, will star in the campaign to help inspire their peers to participate in the competition and pursue their dreams of taking risks and building a successful business. “The Visa Everywhere initiative allowed us to add more value to our product by using APIs from its Developer Platform. As a result, we garnered enough recognition to win new customers and business opportunities! Personally, it was a great accomplishment,” said Amparo Nalvarte, CEO & Co- Founder, Culqi. “I am so proud to be a Visa Everywhere Initiative winner and am truly honored to be a part of the Women’s Global campaign. I can hardly wait to cheer for all of the amazing women that will be participating in this wonderful opportunity.”

Visa Champions Women Entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum on Africa

By Our Reporter

Visa is launching She’s Next, Empowered by Visa, in Africa, to encourage female micro-and small-business owners as they fund, run and grow their businesses across the continent.

The global expansion of this program, announced today at the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, is part of Visa’s ongoing commitment to support female entrepreneurs.  Yesterday, Visa and the International Trade Centre (ITC) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding launching a new partnership to increase the financial inclusion of small businesses and women-owned small businesses globally by helping empower them to participate in international digital trade economy.

The number of women entrepreneurs is growing around the world, with 163 million starting businesses since 2014 alone. [i] Additionally, the highest percentage of these women are in Africa, where 26% of women start or manage a business. [ii] She’s Next in Africa will harness the power of Visa’s global brand and network to build awareness of these women entrepreneurs and invest in them to provide them with tools to build their businesses.

“Women entrepreneurs are the backbone of local economies, and the need for support is real. Closing the gender gap requires persistent hard work and support,” said Aida Diarra, senior vice president and group country manager, Visa Sub Saharan Africa. “That is why Visa is using its voice to shine a light on the contributions and economic potential of female-owned micro-and small-businesses around the world.”

Women typically reinvest up to 90% of their income in the education, health and nutrition of their families and communities – compared to up to 40% for men – which makes investing in women’s businesses one way that Visa can help transform societies.[iii]

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