AECF’s Investing in Women Programme Set to Enhance Economic Power of Female Entrepreneurs in Benin

AECF's Investing in Women Programme Set to Enhance Economic Power of Female Entrepreneurs in Benin
AECF's Investing in Women Programme Set to Enhance Economic Power of Female Entrepreneurs in Benin

The AECF has unveiled the Investing in Women in Benin (IIW-Benin) programme, a CAD $6 million initiative backed by Global Affairs Canada, aimed at enabling women entrepreneurs in climate-positive sectors.

These sectors include technological innovation, digital technology, agriculture, processing, crafts, and trade, targeting barriers that hinder women’s development in their businesses.

Aiming to enhance women’s participation and fortify economic resilience in a greener economy, the IIW-Benin programme intends to provide access to finance, build capacity, and address social and cultural resistance to women’s empowerment.

Plans for the initiative encompass support for:

1) At least 4 women-led SMEs.

2) A minimum of 2 microfinance institutions.

3) 5 women’s cooperatives.

4) Training for 2,500 women in cooperatives.

5) Assisting 2,000 micro-entrepreneurs in climate-smart agricultural practices.

6) Supporting 24,250 individuals, with 80% being women, in income improvement.

Victoria Sabula, CEO of AECF, emphasized the programme’s commitment to not only empower but to challenge social norms that restrict women entrepreneurs.

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She said, “Investing in Women in Benin is not just a programme, it’s a promise. A promise to economically empower women entrepreneurs in sectors that drive innovation and positively impact our climate.”

“Our goal is clear: to improve the participation and economic resilience of women entrepreneurs in a greener economy. This means breaking down barriers, providing access to finance, enhancing capacity, and challenging entrenched social norms that hinder women’s empowerment.”

Evelyne DABIRE, representing Global Affairs Canada, spotlighted the collective effort required in dismantling economic barriers for women and pledged Canada’s continued partnership with local entities to promote a lasting, gender-equal, and eco-friendly economic landscape.

The IIW-Benin programme offers more than just funds; it provides comprehensive non-financial technical support, from quality assurance and human rights advocacy to business management training and practices in climate-conscious agriculture, ensuring an all-dimensional growth path for women in Benin.

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