We invite you to join us for our Women and the Changing Face of Entrepreneurship in Africa Conference on October 1 - 2.
These conversations will provide a clearer understanding of the landscape of women's entrepreneurship on the continent, identify challenges and opportunities, examine policy frameworks, and define policy actions that would position African women, leaders in global female entrepreneurship, to play a transformative role in the world’s largest emerging market.
Panel One (Plenary Session): Women Entrepreneurs, Business Agility, and Africa’s Massive Job Creation Challenge.
Here we seek to understand factors for the rise of high-growth women entrepreneurs, pathways that can facilitate their international expansion, and how we can support the next generation of high-growth entrepreneurs. How has the landscape been changed by COVID-19, and how are women entrepreneurs adopting new ways of doing business? We also seek to correct the prevailing picture of African women enterprises as small or medium scale. In agriculture, digital, manufacturing, artisan enterprise, fashion, and services, Africa’s women entrepreneurs are creating large-scale businesses. How do we support scale up, sustain, and replicate such large-scale endeavors both in the present environment and as we look towards a post-pandemic economy?
Panel Two: Women Entrepreneurs, Value-added Commodity Processing, and Economic Diversification.
We seek to understand the trend of women entrepreneurs creating newer, more dynamic, and higher value agro-products such as chocolate, beauty products, botanicals, teas, and coffees. African women have entered into mining and minerals beneficiation. We have long recognized the need for diversification in the commodities and natural resources sectors, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the push for economic diversification, processing of commodities and raw materials, and industrialization.
Panel Three: The Digital Economy and Economic Growth for Africa’s Women Entrepreneurs. How do we solve the connectivity gap and create opportunities for Africa’s women and girls to be part of a more inclusive digital world? How do we provide access to digital technologies that allow Africa’s women to benefit fully from the goods, services, and capital available across online markets? How do we leverage emerging technologies and business models to remove longstanding barriers to women’s economic opportunities in poor countries? What examples have arisen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that illustrate the embrace of new digital platforms, e-commerce, and mobile payment solutions?
Panel Four: Strengthening Institutional and Policy Frameworks, Funding, and Networks to Advance Women Entrepreneurs.
How can policy formulation promote and elevate women’s entrepreneurship as a priority for African economies? How do we overcome the funding gap? How can we design banking products and offerings that African women entrepreneurs need? How do we strengthen corporate governance and legal frameworks to guide women entrepreneurs to on the international scene? What national responses to the economic impacts of COVID-19 have been successful in supporting women’s entrepreneurship and getting funding to those who will most benefit?
RSVP here by September 30th: https://forms.gle/tV2XBwmghLaJCDJy7
ORGANIZERS: Harvard Center for African Studies & Lionesses of Africa