Africa has become a major destination for investors across the world looking to invest in the key sectors where potential returns are significant and in many ways, these investments lead to the nation’s economic development. The African Development Bank estimates that in 2014, Africa will receive a record of $84 billion in foreign inflows, surpassing the record set in 2012. The trend has given rise to what some describe as “Africa Rising” where the investments flows is now described as “Africa Direct Investment” instead of the usual term “Foreign Direct Investment”. The big question is how much of this investment is going to female-based enterprises?
Why are we seeing a low turnout of women when it comes to participating in large scale, generational businesses? Why is there a low incidence of participation in bid rounds and competing for investment capital? Why are women generally not on the top selection lists when Public Private Partnership opportunities are being discussed? Why are women more comfortable to apply for micro-finance and not seize the big picture? Is there a need for quota systems to push more female businesses forward? How do we prepare women to take more risks?
These are the questions that the Winihin Jemide Series would like to explore at this conference dedicated to observing financing trends for women themed, "Creating Big Business for Gender: Moving from Micro to Macro". During the conversation we provided practical lessons and tools to women to spur them into venturing out beyond their comfort zones. Supporting this conversation was Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm with offices in key business centers across the Americas, Asia and Europe.