The fifth annual AESIS took place in Cape Town earlier this week, bringing together the continent’s early-stage investor community to exchange best practices, learn from peers and recent transactions, and do deals.


Investors speaking during a panel discussion entitled “The impact of the rise of female investors” debated why there is a shortage of both female founders and female investors, and how this issue can be addressed.

“We as investors are not seeing as many female entrepreneurs. We are looking for them, we want to invest in them,” said Amee Parbhoo, director of investments at Accion Venture Lab.

From Disrupt Africa. Story by TOM JACKSON.

African tech
Photo by Oluwakemi Solaja on Unsplash


She believes there is a pipeline problem when it comes to female entrepreneurs, with not enough women getting exposure to the startup space in advance of launching their own companies.

“We aren’t even seeing senior managers at startups. Until women start getting more exposure we aren’t going to see them starting their own companies. We need to create pipelines and opportunities to join startups. And until then it will be difficult to find female founders,” she said.

“At the very early stage there are more women, but as we progress through the stages they drop off. At our stage, Series A or B, there are very few women.”

Allie Burns, managing director Village Capital, agreed more needed to be done at an early stage to help female entrepreneurs develop their businesses and become investment-ready.

Read more atDisrupt Africa.