Case Study

Scaling Equity

October 13, 2023

Lessons from accelerators supporting women-led startups in emerging markets

Evidence shows that investing in gender-diverse companies leads to stronger business outcomes, yet in emerging markets only 11 percent of startups that attain seed funding are led by women, and this gap grows over subsequent stages of investment.  To close the gender financing, gap, ScaleX — a program from IFC and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance (We-Fi) — works with accelerators and investors to facilitate access to early-stage risk capital for women-led startups in emerging markets.

This publication contains case studies, strategies, and practical advice from five accelerators and entrepreneur support organizations awarded by ScaleX for their successful efforts to help women-led startups in emerging markets overcome barriers and secure capital post-acceleration. These lessons and insights can be applied by stakeholders across the investment ecosystem to help scale up vital financing for women-led startups in emerging markets and beyond, ensuring a level playing field for all entrepreneurs.