In a groundbreaking collaboration, Village Capital has joined forces with Standard Chartered Bank to launch a financing facility aimed at investing in startups from the Bank’s Women in Tech program alumni. This innovative initiative places a strong emphasis on early-stage startups led by women founders, aiming to tackle the persistent gender financing gap within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The primary objective of the financing facility is to provide crucial catalytic capital, empowering women entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges they often face in accessing investment and financing opportunities compared to their male counterparts. Extensive research underscores the critical need for gender-focused investment initiatives, and this partnership seeks to create dedicated support for impact-focused, women-led ventures working on solutions to address both local and global challenges.
Heather Matranga, Vice President, Impact Investments at Village Capital, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, “We’re extremely excited to partner with Standard Chartered Bank to support their vision to lift participation of women globally by driving more investment capital to impact-driven women founders.” Matranga emphasized Village Capital’s decade-long commitment to improving equity in investment decision-making and unlocking more opportunities and capital for women-founded and led ventures.
As a significant milestone in this collaboration, Village Capital announced its inaugural investment in two women-led startups. Bena Care, a Kenyan startup providing affordable clinical and supportive care to patients with life-limiting illnesses at home, and Mighty Finance, a Zambian fintech startup focused on providing access to capital for primarily women-led businesses, will each receive USD 75,000, bringing the cumulative investment to $150,000.
Joyce Kibe, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand, and Marketing at Standard Chartered, expressed excitement about the partnership, highlighting its role in supporting the successful Women in Tech program. The program has trained over 70 women-led businesses, providing critical support to help them scale to international standards. Ms. Kibe emphasized the bank’s belief that supporting more women in business stimulates robust and resilient economic activity, offering crucial support often neglected for startup businesses.
Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech program, with six completed cohorts and 64 women-led businesses participating, has awarded grants totaling KES 44 million to 32 businesses. This new collaboration underscores both organizations’ shared commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in impact investing.
By leveraging Village Capital’s extensive experience in unlocking capital for impact-driven startups in underserved markets and Standard Chartered Bank’s dedication to empowering women entrepreneurs, this collaboration is poised to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the global entrepreneurial landscape.