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ShEquity Set to Launch VC Fund and Accelerator in West Africa

ShEquity

ShEquity to launch ShEquity West Africa Venture Capital Fund and the ShEquity Business Accelerator simply termed SHEBA aimed at giving female business owners investments, venture building and technical support.

This is a female focused VC outfit launched in 2020 in an effort to reduce the over $42 billion gender gap in funding on the African continent. They come with the purpose of providing sustainable investments for African female entrepreneurs and innovators. Their offerings include access to funding, operational support to businesses and access to pool of impactful deals.

It is reported that the VC firm has already invested into three companies which include SuperFluid Labs, a B2B data analytics and AI system for businesses and organizations and Ecodudu, an insect feed manufacturer (both in Kenya) as well as WidEnergy in Zambia, provider of last mile distribution of clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions.

Accra-Ghana will be the headquarters of the ShEquity West Africa VC Fund and ShEquity Business Accelerator. It is hoped SHEBA will work with female entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses and create pipeline for the fund in the coming months.

ShEquity
Image source: ShEquity facebook

In an interview with Disrupt Africa, Pauline Koelbl, the MD, said, “Through SHEBA, we plan to onboard 30 female entrepreneurs each year, who will receive venture building and technical support. Of these, qualifying entrepreneurs will receive investment from our VC fund. Our goal is to build an investment ecosystem which unlocks the potential of African female entrepreneurs.”

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She continued that they are interested in innovative, sustainable and impactful businesses that can generate revenue within one year. Commenting further, she added that they focus on sectors such as natural resources, the digital economy and fintechs, the hospitality and service industry, agriculture, healthcare, and FMCGs.

Among the partners of ShEquity includes GreenTec Capital Partners, Women In Tech Africa, Kumasi Hive, African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) and others.

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9 Startups Accepted into the First Next Health Accelerator with $15K Seed Funding

Next Health Accelerator
image courtesy: Valorigo

Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.

Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.

The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.

Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.

Next Health Accelerator

The 2021 cohort includes:

  • Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
  • Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
  • Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
  • Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
  • Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
  • Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
  • The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
  • Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
  • Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana 
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Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,

“After 15 years in philanthropy, I believe now more than ever that it is women who will solve women’s health challenges and it is Africans who will solve Africa’s development challenges.”

She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.

Visit the intrepidentrepreneurs.org to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.

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