Eniola Mafe

Eniola Mafe

Vital Voices Global Partnership

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Eniola Mafe is the Africa Program Manager at Vital Voices Global Partnership, a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit that works with women leaders to advance women’s human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment.

With a special focus on organizational development, entrepreneurship, and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, Eniola manages the Africa Businesswomen’s Network (ABWN), a partnership among local African businesswomen’s organizations that enhances the management, business development, and leadership skills of businesswomen. Eniola also manages other programs focused on the growth of women-led small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Prior to joining Vital Voices, Eniola worked with Women’s World Banking Ghana (WWBG), where she developed social impact methodology to quantify the social and community impact of the microfinance institutions on its clients, investors, and wider community. Eniola began her career as an Equity Finance Analyst for Merrill Lynch.

  1. 417 days ago

    Dennis Scott

    Thanks for sharing this article. Get your auto insurance rates now.



  2. 749 days ago

    Vanessa Lissa Winston

    Hi i am a business woman in the field of creative arts, this business suported me and my 4 children for about 4 years after having gone through years of domestic violence, i have also been a single mother for these years and iam very passionate about young women development and developing their skills so that they may be able to stand on there own in those situation. Because of lack of skill and lack of facilities alot of young women have no choise but to remain in violent relationship being physically and sexually abuse, i have started a craft center with help of other organisation to focus on enpowering women through creative art. The structure and equipment and tools are there but due to lack of finace we have been unable to start trainning. there is a lot of help out there but we in the caribbean tend to miss out on most of them. Through your Organisation or links to other organization would we beable get help to facilitate some trainings or a training? New Beginning Craft Center, Dominica



  3. 753 days ago

    Shantel Nubia

    Also, I’m having trouble with the Social Impact Assessment or my Social Enterprise. Should I hire a CPA to help me with this or are their specialized professionals that help with this kind of consulting?

    Warmest Regards,

    Shantel Nubia



  4. 753 days ago

    Shantel Nubia

    Greetings Eniola Mafe,

    I have to say Ashoka has opened my eyes to all the amazing women out there pursuing their destiny. Please keep up the Blessed work you’ve been doing with SMEs.

    More networks like ABWN and WWBG are needed for business women of the African Diaspora. However, doing my research and trying to connect with Africans on the continent has become a difficult task. The only organization I came across that has included All Africans of the Diaspora was [innovationprizeforafrica.org/].

    Why is there a lack of connection with Africans Abroad and Continental Africans?

    Have Africans of the Motherland given up on their Brothers and Sisters abroad? Or have American Africans lost a sense of who they are? What about the millions of Africans in South America sharing the same struggles as Africans on the Motherland. And if so, how can we correct this mistake and create solutions. In order for Africans to thrive we All must help Eachother.

    I’m sure positive women like yourself can give me a better outlook on our cirumstances

    Warm Regards,

    Shantel Nubia



  5. 755 days ago

    Beatrice ‘Hephzibah’ Kay

    Hi Eniola, thanks for sharing your experience. Women in Africa are entrepreneurial and hardworking. The ones with children will work twice as hard to ensure they provide for the family however there is little return on investment and the possibility of not scaling and developing beyond the first stage. Some farm but don’t own lands. Part of this is restricted access to capital and loans, discrimination and lack of correct information. Also beyond capital is institutional or business support that offers training, advice, education, mentorship and information that help women make the right decisions. When women are empowered economically the more participation we will see at other levels. Is vital voices in Africa investing enough in initiatives focusing on economic empowerment of women in Africa? An empowered woman is a confident woman with a vital voice.



  6. 755 days ago

    Beatrice ‘Hephzibah’ Kay

    Hi Eniola, thanks for sharing your experience. Women in Africa are entrepreneurial and hardworking. The ones with children will work twice as hard to ensure they provide for the family however there is little return on investment and the possibility of not scaling and developing beyond the first stage. Some farm but don’t own lands. Part of this is restricted access to capital and loans, discrimination and lack of correct information. Also beyond capital is institutional or business support that offers training, advice, education, mentorship and information that help women make the right decisions. When women are empowered economically the more participation we will see at other levels. Is vital voices in Africa investing enough in initiatives focusing on economic empowerment of women? An empowered is woman is a confident with a vital voice.



  7. 755 days ago

    Okocha Nkem Christiana

    Hello Eniola, Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge with us. My innovation is a solution to one of the universal barriers you mentioned earlier that entreprenuers face, which is lack of access to capital to start a business.

    My innovation is mobile money biz loan for women, that is access to capital through their mobile phones. Mobile Money Biz Loan for women is an opportunity for women to access loan for business. We register their phone numbers, for mobile money,by using mobile money applications their phone numbers become their account number and they can conduct financial transactions without going to the bank.

    Many women find it hard to get loans to start up their busness, especialy those in the rural areas, who does not have bank accounts,but with MOBILE MONEY BIZ LOAN FOR WOMEN, their phone numbers become their bank account using mobile money, and they can be given loan which they pay back later.

    This would for the enable the banked, under-banked and unbanked (woman or enterprise)access to banking services and loans. It is also a branchless banking business, meaning that its services are designed so that women can generally conduct transactions without the need to visit bank branches, but simply by using their mobile phones to conduct transactions. It would enable them recieve payments for goods and services through their mobile phones.

    I would be very happy ,if you can help with useful information to make this innovation work.

    here is our website http://www.mobilemoneybizloanforwomen.gnbo.com.ng

    Thanks.



  8. 756 days ago

    Amkon Tujasogfdiesr

    Do you only work in social an women developmental.
    I am really worried that my innovation is regarding technological industrial with no social.
    Answer please do you support technological innovation?? to: Adibturknani@yahoo.com
    Adib Al-Turkmani



    • Eniola Mafe

      Hello Amkon, Could you share a little more about you innovation so that we can discuss further, and hopefully others will on this forum would be able chime in also? As for Vital Voices, we focus on women’s economic political empowerment and in human right. I believe that technology is an important tool for for development.

      756 days ago


  9. 756 days ago

    Hellen Owino

    Hello Eniola,
    Am more interested in the women led SME’s programs that you manage. For many women, lack of capital is a hindrance, as well as lack of support from the family. Cultural barriers also limit women’s ability to obtain credit and insurance. Do you provide loans to these women? How do you ensure they pay it back, in time? Do you also help them market their products, am asking this because sometimes accessing the market becomes quite difficult and may cause business close down. Thank you



    • Eniola Mafe

      HI Hellen, Thanks for the questions. Vital Voices doesn’t provide loans to women’s businesses. we include in our support grantmaking to local organizations, associations and business development service providers who support women entrepenurs and their businesses. We also focus a majority of our efforts on providing technical assistance directly to women and their businesses as well as financial and non-financial assistance to the entities work on creating an enabaling business enviroment for businesses to operate. There are great organizations such as Women World Banking, Accion and Grofin that provide loans to businesses and have a devlopment mandate to include women owned businesses in their loan portfolio.

      756 days ago


  10. 757 days ago

    Barbara Rajao

    Hi Eniola, it´s my pleasure to talk to you. I think that´s very important for a woman participate in opportunities that promote the social development of Africans communities. Your work is very important and I´m sure the results favor the many. In many ways Africa is similar to Brazil: natural, great opportunities and inequalities. I have many ideas for improvements to my region and I count on you to make them realities.



    • Eniola Mafe

      Pleasure talking to you too Barbara. It would be interesting to hear from you what similarities you see. Africa is a vast continent with such diversity from one country to another that I believe there are a lot of similarities that can be drawn with many other economies outside of Africa , and hopefully a lot of best practices to learn. Please share some of you ideas in this forum for us to discuss. I know there is increased interest by Brazil in investing in Africa.

      756 days ago


  11. 757 days ago

    Winifride Nyirahirwa

    Thanks Mrs Eniola Mafe ‘
    Thank you very much to what you have realized, you as woman who have found means power to develop for yourself and for your co- African Woman, how you take time to think about for less developed Women in sub- Saharan region of Africa.
    In reality, we African women, as even in our sub-Saharan countries, we can say that we are under Advanced but it is not because we don’t have the potentials to create and innovate on our own , what limit us are the lack of resources, mostly financial and access to all kind of information.
    The world of nowadays requiring many, like access to a lots of things, among them the access to the information at international markets, new technology and the rest as better reflect about the ideas of the most importance and high advance.
    Encouraging the programs, and facilities to new technologies, to the development and participation channels to advance our ideas, it can help that the women of sub-Saharan area have contribute in the movements of global development.
    The access to FINANCIALS, facilitation on standards and regulations of the African Women can play the major role in the flow of micro and macro projects of the African Women.
    This will contribute to the reduction of violence based on sex, because when a woman works. She use also the Savings and when a woman makes the Savings that will engender her dignity, she will always be respectful by the world as we can say that the pocket filled of money provides honor and integrity as one becomes whoever an independent, she also became a leader.



  12. 757 days ago

    Seiji Fujita

    Eniola,
    Can you tell us how was the click?
    As “the penny dropped” for change?

    I believe that everyone has a gift.
    Some people already know, others take a little more like me.
    As happened to you?

    Cordially,

    Seiji.



  13. 757 days ago

    Mariano Luparelli

    We understand that one of the biggest problems in our society, is encouraging. Believe in what we’re doing. Our organization has ten years of work, and want it to be such that you can, for those who incorporate social entrepreneurship who lead productive. How can we communicate?.



  14. 759 days ago

    marzena

    Hi Eniola, thank you for joining us in this conversation! While there are universal barriers that all entrepreneurs have to deal with, what do you think makes the challenges of women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa unique? And to give us some context, what does the business climate in this part of the world currently look like?



    • Eniola Mafe

      Thank you marzena and Ashoka Changemaers. I’m looking forward to talking to/interacting with others here.

      759 days ago


    • Eniola Mafe

      There are universal barriers that I find that all entrepeneurs face such as1.access to capital to start, develop and scale their businesses. 2. access tobusines/market information and business networks where by new trends, opportunities and best practices can be shared for business purposes. 3. business enabling laws/regulations that can inihibit entrepreneurs to innovate, develop their businesses. These are just to name a few of the key barriers. What I find is that most of the women entrepreneurs I come across with are no less talented than their male counterparts. Actually a recent study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research representing data for 59 economies –or 52% of the world’s population and 84% of world GDP – show that 104 million women have started and managed new businesses, adding to the approximately 83 million women who lead businesses launched at least 3.5 years earlier. However, despite these benefits, women’s full economic potential has not yet been realized. Women face barriers when trying to start and grow businesses: they experience less access to credit, training, technology, markets, business networks, and protection under the law. They face obstacles – legal, institutional, and cultural – that add to the complexity of achieving success, as well as centuries of tradition that define the role of women in the community and the family. This is certainly the case for women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa.

      759 days ago


    • Mamz E. Mancho

      Yes Eniola, women face more barriers compared to men when trying to start their and grow their own business and that being a typical cultural based issue still affecting the Sub-Saharan Africa today because the people still deny the fact that a woman can successfully run a business and be a good wife to manage her household demands. Not denying the fact that starting a business is time consuming, I believe if a woman gets all the support she needs in doing so as much as a man gets from all surrounding him then women will not face this particular issue amongst others as finances, legal etc. If the society will only admit that it nolonger only requires a woman to be fully employed at home to run a successful family then men will feel more comfortable about women owning and running their own business which for some reason has lebeled such women as over exposed and some times indecent.

      757 days ago


    • Mamz E. Mancho

      Yes Eniola, women face more barriers compared to men when trying to start their and grow their own business and that being a typical cultural based issue still affecting the Sub-Saharan Africa today because the people still deny the fact that a woman can successfully run a business and be a good wife to manage her household demands. Not denying the fact that starting a business is time consuming, I believe if a woman gets all the support she needs in doing so as much as a man gets from all surrounding him then women will not face this particular issue amongst others as finances, legal etc. If the society will only admit that it nolonger only requires a woman to be fully employed at home to run a successful family then men will feel more comfortable about women owning and running their own business which for some reason has lebeled such women as over exposed and some times indecent. Thank you

      757 days ago


    • Seiji Fujita

      Eniola, Can you tell us how was the click? As “the penny dropped” for change? I believe that everyone has a gift. Some people already know, others take a little more like me. As happened to you? Cordially, Seiji.

      757 days ago