Visa Partners with Absa to Launch 2024 She’s Next funding, training and mentorship Programme

Global leader in payments technology, Visa, has announced its collaboration with Absa for the 2024 She’s Next programme.  She’s Next programme is a global advocacy programme that aims to support women-owned small businesses through funding, training and mentorship. The programme extends beyond conventional business paradigms to champion meaningful impact towards the progress of women across societies.

As part of this partnership, Visa and Absa will spearhead the women in business empowerment initiative, advocating for and supporting women entrepreneurs throughout South Africa. Both organizations remain steadfast in their pursuit of a dual purpose – excelling in business while effecting positive societal change. Together, they aim to amplify their reach and offerings in digital payments, with a specific focus on the burgeoning youth market, strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and empowering women entrepreneurs.

She’s Next offers participants a chance to win over R1 million worth of prizes. In addition to the monetary prizes, the top applicants will receive training and capacity building sessions courtesy of Visa, Absa and its partners.

“We are proud to once again bring our successful ‘She’s Next’ global programme to Africa. As the number of female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to increase, Visa, together with our partners, is broadening the reach of the She’s Next initiative to empower more women entrepreneurs in the region. As a business that recognises the potential of women entrepreneurs, we endeavor to provide them with practical insights and valuable tools necessary for the growth and advancement of their businesses,” emphasised Lineshree Moodley, Country Manager of Visa South Africa.

Visa has already digitally empowered 16 million small and micro businesses (SMBs) worldwide, surpassing its multi-year goal set in 2020 to digitize 50 million SMBs. Additionally, the Visa Foundation has allocated $1 million in funding to organizations across Sub-Saharan Africa that support SMBs. This funding encompasses grants and impact investments in programs offering SMBs training, support services, and access to capital, with a focus on gender inclusivity and diversity. She’s Next in Sub-Saharan Africa will further extend the reach and impact of this programme.

Steven Zwane, Absa’s Managing Executive of Corporate Citizenship says, “We are incredibly excited to be part of the 2024 She’s Next program, championing the success of women entrepreneurs. This partnership represents a natural extension and continuation of the substantial work that Absa has embarked upon to comprehensively understand the unique needs of women-owned small businesses, and ultimately, to help them succeed. Through Absa and Visa’s joint efforts, we hope to make a meaningful, tangible impact in society”.

She’s Next underscores its belief in the transformative power of empowering women in business. Going beyond mere recognition, the initiative offers tangible support to women entrepreneurs, including a grant, a one-year coaching membership, and strategic partnerships with influential figures in various industries.

This year, the global advocacy program will span across five countries:  South Africa, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), marking significant strides in advancing opportunities for women entrepreneurs across Africa.

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