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GET.invest collaborates with AECF for ‘Nkwanzi Scaling Women SMEs Project’

Drawing inspiration from the symbolism of nkwanzi, the Ugandan word for ‘pearl’, the ‘Nkwanzi Scaling Women SMEs Project’ is an investment readiness programme initiated by the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) that aims to unlock the potential of women-led enterprises through capacity-building on fundraising and enhancing their ability to raise commercial capital. This initiative provides mentorship, coaching, investment readiness support, and facilitates linkages to financial institutions to 400 women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 9 selected countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. The project is co-funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of their pan-African flagship initiative, Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), which seeks to bridge the USD 42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa.

In line with GET.invest’s continued efforts to strengthen support for women entrepreneurs in the clean energy sector, AECF has leveraged the programme’s expertise for a series of coaching sessions as part of an ongoing partnership. Last month, AECF specifically selected a cohort of 14 women-led clean energy companies operating in five different countries within Sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the coaching modules conducted by GET.invest’s advisors. These modules covered four topics, starting with financial modeling and strategies for structuring and designing the building blocks of a financial model. This was followed by a coaching on investor engagement, introducing participants to different concepts in fundraising, various types of finance, and strategies to identify and approach the right investors. The third module focused on the importance of having an investor data room, providing insights into key features and tips for setting up such a tool. The final training module was dedicated to credit management as a critical success factor, featuring best practice examples and strategies for improvement.

Many participants expressed their satisfaction upon the conclusion of the coaching sessions, which served as a catalyst and inspired them to translate their newfound knowledge into action. As one participant shared: “Credit monitoring for me was a great lesson. I am looking forward to implementing a proper credit assessment of clients and not shying away from customers seeking goods on credit.”

Looking ahead, GET.invest is eager to further engage with the women-led companies through its Finance Access Advisory services and extends its gratitude to AECF for the partnership. In this line, Esther Wamai, focal point for the ‘Nkwanzi programme’ at AECF, stated “We are delighted to have been able to leverage GET.invest’s expertise for our ‘Nkwanzi Scaling Women SMEs project’ initiative as part of our ongoing partnership. Working together has been instrumental in amplifying the initiative’s impact on the crucial topic of gender equality, and we look forward to continuing such fruitful engagements with GET.invest and other partners.”