Enabling female entrepreneurs and beyond

brookings.edu - Investing in female entrepreneurs has a multiplier effect. Women often invest a higher proportion of their income back into their families and communities than men. Indeed, it is well-documented that when women control a greater proportion of household resources, the family allocates more money toward food and children’s education, and children that are healthier and more educated are better-prepared to contribute to a developing economy. However, many African women face cultural and social barriers to becoming entrepreneurs—creating the need for promoters of the gender empowerment agenda to acknowledge the entangled relationship between women and their social environment.

Michelle Obama echoed this point during the United States of Women Summit in June, saying, “We’ve seen time and again that when educated girls grow into successful women, they don’t just pat themselves on the back and enjoy the fruits of their successes—no, as they should, they reach back and they help other women and girls along after them.” She singled out Kenyan entrepreneur Ciiru Waithaka, the founder of FunKidz, a successful children’s furniture company that designs products inspired by African stories. Waithaka garnered the First Lady’s praise for founding a program that has taught 350 disadvantaged youth about technology and innovation to date.

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