Road to Finance

Accessing finance is the biggest challenge many women entrepreneurs face. Our Road to Finance training is a key part of the solution.

Women entrepreneurs tell us that accessing finance is the biggest challenge they face to growing their businesses. Our Road to Finance training is a key part of the solution.

Our research identifies a lack of access to finance as the most significant obstacle for women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries, with over a quarter (25.6%) of those we surveyed reporting it as their main challenge.

Globally, women-led start-ups receive less than 3% of venture capital funding, and only 2-10% of commercial bank finance goes to women-owned businesses.

Multiple barriers limit women’s access to investment and credit for their businesses and affect their decisions around accessing products and services. These include a lack of knowledge and confidence, as well as systemic barriers like gender stereotypes, biased systems and processes, and a lack of suitable products.

This means millions of businesses worldwide are held back from growth, spelling huge missed potential for women entrepreneurs, and by extension their families, communities and economies.

Our solution

We developed our Road to Finance programme in 2021 to address these challenges. The programme supports ambitious women in low and middle income countries to build their skills and confidence in order to successfully secure finance, grow their businesses and achieve their potential.

Since launching, Road to Finance has supported over 200 women entrepreneurs.

Road to Finance's impact

93% of 2023 participants increased their access to networks.

89% of 2023 participants increased their revenue.

85% of 2023 participants feel comfortable negotiating with lenders or investors.

How does it work?

Through four weeks of face-to-face sessions, with additional self-paced learning online, women can access step by step guidance on how to get the finance they need for their businesses.

A group of women sit in a classroom listening to a Road to Finance trainer who is presenting at the front of the class.

Our training gives women entrepreneurs:

  • The ability to identify and assess their current business situation
  • An understanding of what business financing options exist, and how to assess what is needed for their business
  • Knowledge of how to develop a financial plan and related documents to get the best financing
  • Key skills and strategies needed to develop and deliver a successful investment pitch
  • The ability to negotiate with a potential lender or investor
  • Increased business confidence
  • Boosted professional networks
  • Direct linkages to financial services

With their new knowledge, skills and confidence, women entrepreneurs can go on to successfully unlock the finance they need, when they need it. This leads to increased business growth, resilience and sustainability, and ultimately women succeeding as business owners.

The Road to Finance programme enabled me to approach financial institutions and access finance. I had never done that before, but with the increased financial literacy I had developed on the course, I was able to take that risk and it really paid off.

Adaeze Onu, Owner of Dexy Creations and Road to Finance participant, Nigeria

Where is it delivered?

Road to Finance was piloted successfully in early 2022 with women in Nigeria and Guyana. The programme has been delivered formally in both countries since.

We have ambitions to bring this much-needed training programme to new low and middle income countries through funding partnerships with the private and public sector, supporting our goal of reaching one million women by 2030. Please get in touch to discuss how we can collaborate to bring Road to Finance to even more women entrepreneurs worldwide and support their business development.

Supported by our partners:

Delivered with our partners: