Future Females Invest (FFI) is a financial services company passionate about women’s entrepreneurship capabilities and potential. Founded by Aysha Julie Tegally and Tori Abiola, these two women were witnesses of the lack of access to finance for African female founders. In 2019 Future Females Invest merged with Tori’s WOWe (Women of West Africa Entrepreneurs) to become truly Pan-African; financially empowering and enabling African female founders.
FFI is therefore changing systems by providing consultancy, training, access to investment and markets, ecosystem support to African women entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs and gender empowerment advocates in public and private sector organisations.
“We firmly believe that with the right empowerment tools, African women in business can reach their full potential. Given that African women are underrepresented, we are motivated to support them by helping them with investment, financial opportunities and coaching.” said Aysha Tegally, Director of FFI
Aysha Tegally explains that it is a fact that African women in business lack access to financial support.
“Funding is needed in order to financially support the ongoing operations or development of a business project.” she says
Thus, FFI acts “as a bridge for women entrepreneurs in order to address the financing gap and for them to achieve proper funding, covered by investment from venture capital, angel investors, and equity sales.”
According to the GEM women entrepreneurship report 2017, Africa has become the first continent of female entrepreneurship with 27% of women in Africa creating a business, the highest rate on a global scale.
“African women positively contribute to the economy they typically reinvest up to 90% of their income in the education, health and nutrition of their family and community – compared to up to 40% for men. This means that investing in women’s businesses can transform societies. According to McKinsey, the female economy is the world’s largest emerging market, with the potential to add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025. African women contributed 13% of the continent’s economic growth in 2019.” explains Aysha Tegally.
However, African women entrepreneurs have been the worst affected by covid-19 and less investment and access to finance with an estimated $42 billion financing gap for African women across the business value chain.
According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), from 2012 – 2017 only $30-million of investment went to female founders in Africa. Over a five-year span, female founders in Africa received only 0.02% of what is invested in US ventures in just a year.
In order to strengthen its mission of empowering women, it entered into a collaboration with Accenture to celebrate and empower women entrepreneurs in Mauritius running businesses that have a positive impact on the environment.FFI launched FFI Enterprise Studio that is supported by Accenture.
The aim of this initiative is to invite women entrepreneurs leading sustainable businesses to send in their applications. From these 2 businesses will be selected for a 3 months bespoke training programme powered by both Accenture and FFI. The deadline to apply for the programme is Monday 19th April at noon.
FFI will be holding online information sessions to enable women entrepreneurs to find out more about the FFI Enterprise Studio and answer any questions they may have. Details of how to sign up for the sessions to be held on Wednesday 31 March from 18:00 to 19:00 and Tuesday 6 April from 12:00 to 13:00 are available here.
“This initiative is a first and definitely not the last. We are thrilled to be embarking on this new venture with a company that aligns with our mission to empower women.” said Aysha Tegally
As for young women entrepreneurs, Aysha Tegally has a few advice: “Young women can be anything they want. Invest in yourselves, learn new skills and trust your inner voice. Dream big, set goals, make a plan, be accountable and make it happen. Find a mentor who can advise you. If you are a woman who’s empowered, make sure you empower others as well! Women supporting other women is the most beautiful thing we do. Instead of seeing other women entrepreneurs as competitors, see them allies and support each other.”