Spotlight on Female Founders

One group that is anecdotally overlooked when it comes to fundraising are female founders. Hard data on whether women are over- or under-funded relative to men is difficult to come by says Andia Chakava of New Faces New Voices, an advocacy group that promotes women in finance.

She says that often, however, women need to battle negative perceptions and stereotypes, in addition to overcoming the many other challenges entrepreneurs face on a daily basis. Furthermore, female entrepreneurs may not have access to networks and sub-networks of potential mentors and partners that are often crucial in helping entrepreneurs to develop; that is something New Faces New Voices is looking to remedy.

Additionally, the organisation is looking to promote younger female voices to showcase a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya and beyond. Chakava says female entrepreneurs need to become more comfortable with networking and turning connections into funding or business partners; visibility as key, as people will invest in your business if they have seen you around and read about your start-up. Ultimately, however, Chakava says focusing on female or male entrepreneurs only is misguided — after all, companies that are built on and embrace diversity typically end up doing the best.