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Nigerian Startup Drives Financial Inclusion for Female Farmers

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In 2020,  37 percent of women in Sub-Saharan Africa had access to a bank account, compared with 48 percent of men. In North Africa, the figures are even more discouraging in North Africa where only two-thirds of the adult population remains unbanked and the gender gap for access to finance is approximately 18 percent. This is the largest gender related financial disparity in the world.

However when looking at South Africa, according to the World Bank, this have changed significantly over the past few years. A majority of the population in SSA are now in possession of a bank account or other financial institution (55% IN 2021, compared to 23% in 2011). Today, in Nigeria only 35% of women have access to financial services.

Addressing the Financial Needs of Women in Nigeria

This is changing significantly with the promising introduction of innovative financial services geared towards addressing the needs and concerns of women and their financial progress. One company that stands out is HerVest, that have tapped into the opportunities that lie within the agricultural sector and unlocked its investment potential for women who lead or own farms in Nigeria.

According to the World Bank, scaling digital financial services in the African region is critical to enable and achieve economic and social development in order to drive access for those that remain unbanked and underserved.

Female Farmers Significant Contribution to the Economy

According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, women account for 75 percent of the farming population in Nigeria, working as farm managers, and suppliers of labour. HerVest meets these women at their point of need, providing them with a platform to grow their income over time. They have opened up a wealth of investment, savings and credit avenues for small holder women farmers in Nigeria.

Peer-to-Peer Capital Reallocation Platform

The lending and investment platform works on a peer-to-peer based capital reallocation which is a financial arrangement where individuals or businesses can borrow money directly from other individuals or investors through an online platform without the involvement of traditional financial institutions such as banks.

Providing a Sense of Fulfillment for Female Investors

Beyond creating financial opportunities for lenders and investors, the platform is providing a sense of fulfillment to female investors that are able to make a difference the lives of women who otherwise would not be able to receive the financial assistance they need to grow their small businesses, Investor Chidinma Ezekwe says, “Harvest has helped me stop spending inadequately. The best is the insights from financial literacy. I understand the benefit of impact investment and I’m glad I could help these female farmers in my own little way and still get returns.”

Hervest Features in Google Campaign

The innovative femtech company has also been featured in a full film coverage for the global Google #WeArePlay campaign. The campaign celebrates the diverse community of individuals and businesses building innovative apps and games on the Google Play platform. The company will be the first African startup to feature in the campaign.

Their selection for the campaign, is a source of pride for the Nigerian Tech community and demonstrates the significant progress which is taking place, and the intent towards driving economic growth for all citizens in Africa’s rapidly evolving technological landscape.



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