VALUE4HER a new CTA project will empower women entrepreneurs working in the agricultural sector – agripreneurs – by giving them the skills, knowledge and access to markets, finance and services they need to build their businesses. The project is calling for women-led agribusinesses to register to become part of the first intelligence network targeting women-led agribusinesses in Africa.
“Women are key actors in agriculture, but benefit little from high-value activities,” says Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, senior technical adviser, value chains and agribusiness, at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).
Critical challenges for women include access to markets and market intelligence, access to finance and other business services, and the technical, management and leadership skills needed to drive an enterprise forwards.
VALUE4HER has launched a call for women-led agribusinesses in southern and eastern Africa to register for an agribusiness intelligence network targeting women-led agribusinesses. The aim is to foster better links with markets, supply chains and other service providers, including financing partners. Agribusinesses that register will also be eligible to participate in the project’s activities, including training and the chance to apply for a competitive grant aimed at spurring innovation.
VALUE4HER a joint initiative of CTA, the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) and the African Women in Agribusiness Network (AWAN), will help women to develop agribusinesses and to derive more income from agri-food markets. “We want to bring in more young women to be job creators and not just job seekers,” said Irene Ochem, founder and CEO of AWIEF, at the launch of the project.
CTA has extensive experience in working with women-led businesses in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific, including the Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers (CANROP) and Samoa-based Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI), as well as with farmer-led agricultural enterprises in Africa.
VALUE4HER will focus on linking women-led agribusinesses with competitive high-value regional and global markets and improving women business leader’s technical and managerial skills. The project will also facilitate innovative business linkages with other women-led agribusinesses and help agripreneurs to link with women suppliers, to benefit other women in the value chain. In addition, VALUE4HER will use knowledge and targeted advocacy to address economic barriers to women’s entrepreneurship (e.g. equitable access to finance), as well as highlight and reinforce market practices that enable women to succeed.