A new business competition focused on funding African women founded businesses that are at the growth stage and ready for investment has been announced. The 2X Invest2Impact – Business Competition is a partnership between FinDev Canada, CDC Group (CDC) of the United Kingdom, Proparco of France and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of the United States along with the Mastercard Foundation.

The purpose of the 2X Invest2Impact – Business Competition has been stated as supporting the growth of high potential, women-owned businesses to increase their commerciality and impact. This major new initiative will support women entrepreneurs who have the potential to make a positive impact on their local African economies and are strong candidates for investments from development financiers.

"Africa is home to more female entrepreneurs than any region in the world. Through 2X Invest2Impact, OPIC is proud to join its 2X Challenge partners and Mastercard Foundation in providing a platform for female entrepreneurs to showcase their successful enterprises and to access critical expansion capital. We are not only reaching these female entrepreneurs but also showing the world what African women can do when they are empowered," said Kathryn Kaufman, OPIC Managing Director for Global Women's Issues.

The goals of 2X Invest2Impact competition are to:

  • Directly reach women-owned businesses that may otherwise face barriers in accessing investment capital;
  • Contribute to the community of women business owners and leaders in the region;
  • Gather and share learnings on women in business and gender-lens investing;
  • Increase visibility and momentum for gender-lens investing; and
  • Pilot an investment prospecting model that could be replicated in other regions.

One of the aims is to mobilize $3 billion by 2020 for investment in business activities that will benefit women. As of 1 May 2019, members of the 2X Challenge estimate an amount in excess of $1 billion already mobilized.

More details on how African women entrepreneurs can apply and participate in the business competition will be made available in due time.

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