Efe Ukala: Empowering African Female Entrepreneurs with ImpactHER

In African entrepreneurship, Efe Ukala continues to empower women seeking to scale their businesses and bridge the gender gap in funding and digital skills. As a Wall Street investment lawyer turned founder of ImpactHER, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering African women entrepreneurs, Ukala is on a mission to revolutionize the way women-led businesses are supported and nurtured.

Ukala’s journey began with a startling realization during her travels across Africa to conduct due diligence on startups for her investment firm. Despite the dominance of women in local markets, she noticed a stark disparity in the corporate space, where male-led businesses received more attention and funding from investors. This observation led her to investigate further and uncover the glaring gender gap inhibiting African women from scaling their businesses.

In 2017, Ukala took action and founded ImpactHER with the vision of bridging the gender gap in funding and digital skills. The organization focuses on two key areas: providing access to institutional capital for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) and offering digital skills training to equip women with the tools they need to thrive in the digital economy.

One of the major obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa is the lack of access to funding. ImpactHER aims to address this issue by connecting WSMEs with investors and facilitating the allocation of institutional capital. To date, ImpactHER has helped women secure over $2,000,000 in funding and awarded grants worth over $5,000 for their businesses.

In addition to funding, ImpactHER recognizes the importance of digital skills in today’s business landscape. With a significant digital skills gap in Africa, particularly among women, ImpactHER is committed to providing training and support to help women leverage technology to grow their businesses. Through initiatives such as training programs for teachers in public schools and digital skills workshops for women entrepreneurs, ImpactHER is empowering women to harness the power of technology for business success.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ImpactHER played a crucial role in helping businesses adapt to the new normal by creating websites for over 571 businesses and providing training to over 44,000 women entrepreneurs across 53 African countries. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, as they were awarded the best women SME support organization at the African Union Forum in Cairo.

Ukala’s work with ImpactHER has garnered recognition and support from various organizations, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Women, Google, and the African Union. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, ImpactHER continues to expand its reach and impact, empowering African women entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential.

As Efe Ukala and ImpactHER continue to pave the way for women in entrepreneurship, their efforts serve as a testament to the power of empowerment and the transformative impact it can have on communities and economies across Africa. With their unwavering dedication and commitment to gender equality, Ukala and ImpactHER are leading the charge towards a more inclusive and prosperous future for female entrepreneurs in Africa.

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