Unleashing the potential of Africa’s women entrepreneurs

Adesina Akinwumi, the president of the African Development Bank, believes there is more work to be done to fully unleash the potential of Africa’s women entrepreneurs through access to finance. Speaking at the World Economic Forum last week, he said: "To turn the ideas of women entrepreneurs into viable businesses requires a fundamental change in the financial markets to better address the needs of women. A financial sector revolution for women businesses is needed.” Akinwumi said the push for access to finance provoked the African Development Bank to create the Affirmative Finance Action for Women (AFAWA) - a new initiative with the goal of creating an enhanced financial environment for women-owned businesses. "Our goal is to leverage $3 billion specifically for women owned enterprises in Africa. We must turn this demographic asset into an economic dividend for Africa,” he added. Initiatives such as these by the African Development Bank send a clear signal to the world that if the continent is to economically grow and thrive, then women entrepreneurs need to be supported on all business fronts in order to fulfil their real potential.