Webinar Summary

Women comprise approximately 50% of the labor force in sub-Saharan Africa and yet, are less likely to access financial services – like credit, insurance, and savings – which limits their purchasing power and excludes them from their local economy. As a result, women lose out on income-generating opportunities, which could lead to their economic empowerment and financial independence. Thus, inhibiting their agency within their household and community, and trapping them in a cycle of poverty and inequality. However, women aren’t the only ones missing out on opportunities. By not intentionally integrating women into their supply chains or designing products with women’s needs in mind, agribusinesses and other service providers are losing out on potential business opportunities to expand their reach and engage a valuable consumer base.

To help women rise out of poverty while also ensuring organizations benefit from the business opportunity, agribusinesses need to more intentionally invest in business models that empower women, both in terms of financial services and agricultural outgrower schemes. Not only will this improve women’s economic prosperity, but more gender-inclusive investments could help women make a more significant commercial contribution to agribusinesses. If women had the same access to productive assets as men, it could increase farm yields by 20-30%, thereby contributing positively to a businesses’ bottom line.

In an effort to address this challenge in their own work, RAF Learning Lab Partners, AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are committed to investing in women’s empowerment across smallholder and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Download the materials below, including presentation slides, the  webinar recording, to learn how organizations such as AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are integrating both business and social goals to empower women in smallholder finance. 

For additional information, please see the list of relevant materials below.

Key Resources 

Opportunity International 

 


RAF Learning Lab Webinar Slides

Opportunity International Webinar Slides

AgDevCo Webinar Slides

Q&A responses from Opportunity International & AgDevCo