Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of entrepreneurship globally, with most entrepreneurs being women. Despite this development, women-owned businesses often face growth challenges due to limited access to finances, exclusion from critical social networks, labour and skills gaps, and other factors. HerVenture is an app launched to empower women entrepreneurs.
Many women-owned businesses fail a year after starting up, and this is mainly because they lack adequate skills to run their businesses. Following efforts to support women entrepreneurship and the need to move businesses online, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women launched the HerVenture mobile app in 2018. This was to help women worldwide access skills and the networks they need to grow their businesses. Since its launch, HerVenture has been downloaded by over 25,000 women and has greatly transformed women-owned businesses.
HerVenture Development Partners
HerVenture has been developed with support from the following partners: Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Swedish Postcode Foundation, The Happel Foundation, Qualcomm Wireless Reach through the wider DevelopHer initiative, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable, ExxonMobil Foundation and DHL Express.
What HerVenture App Does
HerVenture provides essential business training, support, and connections that help them improve and grow their businesses. The app currently features seven learning ‘tracks’ depending on the entrepreneurs’ needs, including product innovation, starting a business, expanding market access, and the newest track that focuses on e-commerce.
The lessons you access on the app are based on your input, and the content is provided in easy to understand formats such as quizzes and videos. There is also some content that you can access offline. HerVenture allows women entrepreneurs in the same industry to connect with each other to share experiences and learn about different aspects of business events. The app is flexible and can be adapted to any geography and language across the world.
HerVenture walks entrepreneurs through different levels with different things to learn at each level. There are also tokens and rewards to unlock in the different levels. Additionally, the app provides a Q&A section where entrepreneurs can ask questions on different topics to understand better.
How it Works
HerVenture app is available on Google Play Store and can only be downloaded by Android users. Upon downloading the app, users are required to swipe a card that appears on the screen to access lessons. Users can sign up in two ways; they can either provide personal details to create an account or sign in with Google.
Users are then required to answer a few questions to key in their personalized experience. HerVenture will automatically suggest a personalized roadmap/guide based on the answers you give. Upon joining, lessons begin at your own pace, and each lesson averages five minutes. HerVenture content is localized, so what is taught in Kenya is somehow different from what is taught in Nigeria.
Where HerVenture Works
HerVenture is currently available in Indonesia, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Kenya.
HerVenture in Nigeria
Nigeria was the first African country to benefit from HerVenture. Since its launch, there have been numerous success stories from those who have used it to develop their businesses.
HerVenture in Kenya
The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and DHL Express launched HerVenture on 13th July 2020, making Kenya the second African country to benefit from the app. The app’s launching event was virtual, and in attendance was Cherie Blair (Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women) and Margaret Kobia, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs. Kenya aims at becoming a middle-income country by 2030, and this is only possible if women entrepreneurs (who own 49% of micro and small businesses in the country) are supported. HerVenture is set to benefit 10,000 women entrepreneurs in Kenya.
The Future of HerVenture
HerVenture is available on Google Play Store and will also be available on iOS within no time. HerVenture founders aim to extend its availability in other African countries, including South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana, Tanzania, among other countries. Founders aim to support 100,000 women in developing countries by 2022.
Final Thoughts on HerVenture
Many businesses across the world need to skills, support and connections to succeed. HerVenture is an essential digital tool that will help women entrepreneurs to grow and sustain their businesses only if they embrace it.