The recently held Fashionomics Africa Webinar, hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the HEVA Fund, asserted that facilitating access to finance for Africa’s fashion entrepreneurs is crucial, if the industry is to develop its full potential and tap global markets in a post-COVID-19 world.
The fourth edition of the Fashionomics series held on 10 December 2020, was attended by 150 fashion entrepreneurs and creative minds. The discussion focused on finance, covered the challenges faced by fashion entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, in Africa’s creative industries.
Participants were also presented with opportunities to access finance from investment funds including the Alithea IDF Fund, for which the African Development Bank is an anchor investor; the Women’s Investment Club (WIC) Capital; the African Export–Import Bank; the State Bank of Mauritius; Thundafund and Senegalese clothing brand, SARAYAA.
Evelyne Dioh Simpa, Managing Director at WIC Capital, which invests in businesses run by women in Francophone West Africa, stressed the importance of developing financial products and capacity building tailored to fashion entrepreneurs.
What they are saying
Vanessa Moungar, Bank Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society said,
- “The ongoing pandemic has prompted adaptations and innovations to keep Africa’s $31 billion fashion industry thriving. The crisis provides an opportunity to set up targeted support mechanisms and develop new and innovative financial tools for the textile, apparel and accessories industry that will not only help the entrepreneurs make it through but set the basis for them to grow their businesses going forward.”
Safiétou Seck, Founder and Creative Director of SARAYAA, which recently attracted $230,000 in investment from WIC Capital to expand operations and grow the brand, submitted that,
- “For me, banking was the best option to scale up my business. My advice is be patient, you are going to be rejected many times, but fashion is going to make you stick with it.”
Matt Roberts-Davies, Chief Operating Officer of Thundafund, South Africa’s leading online crowdfunding marketplace for creatives and innovators, stated that,
- “New solutions, including alternative financing channels will be key for fashion entrepreneurs. He encouraged entrepreneurs to be brave and put yourself out there and find the crowd of people that loves what you do.”
What you should know
- Fashionomics Africa promotes investments in the textile and fashion sectors by leveraging data, information and communication technologies to drive development. The initiative also aims to increase entrepreneurs’ access to finance via traditional and non-traditional channels, while providing business skills to start-up founders and staff as well as to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
- The Fashionomics Africa webinar series is available for fashion entrepreneurs, digital enthusiasts and creative minds on the Fashionomics platform.