An app that grew out of an online community is offering savings products, grants, and information to Africa’s female entrepreneurs
Spotted: In Nigeria, it is estimated that women’s earned income is 65 per cent of men’s, due to fewer work hours and the fact that women dominate the lower-paid, informal job sector. This means they have fewer opportunities for networking and fundraising than men. Now, an app called Herconomy, is helping to bridge that gap.
Herconomy began as an Instagram page, created by entrepreneur Ife Durosinmi-Etti, who showcased local and international opportunities like grants and fellowships available to entrepreneurs in Africa. The site soon became a hub for thousands of female entrepreneurs looking for information.
The page eventually became a Telegram group, but scaling was an issue, as the team behind it found it difficult to coordinate the large number of conversations on the site. So, the team has now launched a subscription app (which also has a free tier). The app gives members access to a community and opportunity board, grants, weekly capacity-building workshops, and discounts from over 60 brands.
In June this year, Herconomy announced that it was receiving backing from Google for Startups, as one of the recipients of Google’s Black Founders Fund, which will help the femtech startup accelerate its mission.
This is not the first bank Springwise has spotted targeting an underserved market. Other financial innovations in the archive include a banking platform for workers in Africa’s informal sector and nano-credit for low-income entrepreneurs.
Written By: Lisa Magloff