• The Financial Alliance for Women 2021 research report shows that fintechs are leaving money on the table by not being gender-intelligent.
• The gender gap in fintech usage is 27.6 per cent, three times greater than the gap in access to a formal account.
According to statistics, globally, women make up 28.4 per cent of the workforce engaged in STEM and only 30 per cent on average in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, women in low- and middle-income countries are 10 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile device and 23 per cent less likely to use the internet compared to their male counterparts.
This is according to the Global Mobile Communication Mobility Gap Report 2019.
In Africa, the proportion of women and girls using the internet is 24 per cent compared to 35 per cent of men and boys.
UN Women regional deputy director Zebib Kavuma speaking during the second UN Women Equality Cafe conference said that the digital gap exists due to digital illiteracy in women and girls.
This cuts across all sectors in the tech space.
Being a month when women are being celebrated around the world, and even as the world marked International Women’s Day, it’s essential for women to invest and build their wealth.
They, however, often face barriers to accessing investment opportunities that aid in scaling up their businesses.
This is according to Ndovu’s CEO and co-founder Radhika Bhachu.
Ndovu is an online savings and investment platform that provides access to financial markets by providing wealth management solutions to its clients while leveraging technology.
Founded in 2020, Bhachu said that she decided to relocate to Kenya and decided to put her savings to work.
“I partnered with Kenyan investments experts to establish a personalised, cost-efficient investment solution to bring easy investing to Africa,” she said.
According to Bhachu, the business case for serving women with better financial services is clear, with women expected to control over $ 216 trillion in wealth globally.
The Financial Alliance for Women 2021 research report shows that fintech are leaving money on the table by not being gender-intelligent.
The gender gap in fintech usage is 27.6 per cent, three times greater than the gap in access to a formal account.
Bhachu said with the use of technology and innovation can help bridge this gap and promote gender equality.
To bridge the financial education gap, Bhachu shares some tips to help women build on their wealth.
1. Educate yourself
Bhachu said that investing can be intimidating but it is essential to educate oneself about it.
“Ndovu usually provides free financial advisory services for women and the key thing to always understand is what you are investing in and how risky it is,” she said.
She added that it is crucial to understand investments and also learn how to invest so that if it doesn’t make sense or a deal is too good to be true, then you don’t invest.
2. Make a financial plan and stick to it
Bhachu explained that in order to achieve this, one can start by assessing cash inflows and outflows, scrutinizing expenses, and identifying areas where one can cut back.
“You need to think about your long-term goals and develop a financial plan to achieve them,” she added.
She also said that when used correctly, money can be a fantastic tool used to design and live out one’s best life.
3. Start early, invest consistently, and focus on the long term
“They say that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now,” Bhachu said.
“The same advice applies to investing. The earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to grow.”
She added that it is important to make a habit of investing a portion of one’s income regularly, even if it’s a small amount at first.
“Compound interest can do wonders for your money over time,” Bhachu said.
By taking a strategic approach to investing, women can build financial security and achieve their set goals.
"Investment inequality is part of the blueprint to women's financial independence," Bhachu said.
She added that as a society we need to continue working towards a more equitable and inclusive world where women have equal access to financial services and opportunities to build their wealth.