Briter Bridges carried out a study, seeking to determine the Gender and Demographics in Africa’s Green and Digital Transformation. The research also aimed to unveil the co-founding
members and C-level executives of innovative companies operating in Africa today.
The study analyzed 1904 businesses across 12 sectors with a total of 2701 co-founding members. It aggregated data on gender, ethnicity, schooling, and fundraising. The study also borrowed insights from selected female entrepreneurs, investors, and hub managers operating in the digital solutions space.
The findings of the research revealed that, while the distribution of men and women in the samples is asymmetrical, the statistical outcomes of ethnicity and education present clear similarities in the relative percentages of total men and women.
In terms of funding, the data of 276 deals in Africa since the beginning of 2019 showed stark differences in the allocation of investment between genders, possibly reflecting the relatively small proportion of female-led companies operating in the digital solutions and tech space.
17% of companies’ headquarters in the sample are located in South Africa, 15.4% in Nigeria, and 12.6% in Kenya. 17.7% of the sample have headquarters located outside the African continent, while all companies have operations in at least one country in the region.
Out of the 1904 companies included, and depending on data availability and activity, the data set
reveals that 1,265 companies have just one active founder or C-level executive, 506 have two active co-founders, 109 have three, 23 have four, and 1 has five.
144 companies in the sample are found to have a sole female founder or C-level executive, and 23 companies were found to be completely female-founded with 2 co-founding members or more.
In a report released at the end of last year, $1.27 billion funding had been raised across 167 disclosed deals in 2019. At the end of April 2020, the figure had increased to $1.69 billion across 276 disclosed deals.
The study identified deals ranging between $3,000 and $200,000,000 from January of 2019 until
April 2020. Out of these, 37 recipient companies had at least one female co-founder, or 13.4% of the total. However, only 5% of the companies were completely female founded.
In 2019, female co-founded companies were allocated 5.7% of the total funding raised, and for the first four months of 2020, female co-founded companies received only 3.2% of the total funding.
Funding Recipient Demographics
Venture capital in the region, despite rising significantly in recent years, is overwhelmingly dominated by male founders and, according to data by the African Development Bank (AfDB), there is a $42 million financing gap between men and women in Africa.
A 2019 report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests that GDP across Africa could increase by 10% by 2025, should greater parity between men and women be achieved.