Africa has the highest percentage (3.2%) of fintech companies with only female founders. That's double the global average of 1.6%, according to the Diversity for Growth report.
Findexable — a global research and analytics firm focused on fintech — released the Diversity for Growth report as part of its inaugural Fintech Diversity Radar (FDR), a global big data initiative tracking diversity in fintech.
Chargebacks911 and Global Processing Services and a global alliance of women founders, fintech industry champions and supporting organisations partnered with Findexable to release the report.
Location or place, as one of the marketing mix, is critical to the success of businesses. More so fintech and female-led companies. Fintech is all about the ecosystem, Findexable notes. An ecosystem is the convergence of partners, talent, investors, facilities, government support and other favourable conditions that create hubs of expertise and growth. That's why San Francisco (Silicon Valley) is the city with the most female fintech executives and female fintech founders.
Other regions and countries have their hotspots, too. Places female CEOs and female fintech founders are likely to call home because of the ecosystem. The United Arab Emirates has Dubai; the United Kingdom has London; Brazil, São Paulo; China, Beijing; and Nigeria has Lagos (remember Yabacon Valley).
Fintech Diversity Radar Key Findings in Africa
The FDR is tracking 1,032 fintechs across Africa (63) , Asia-Pacific (195), Europe (149), Latin America (201), the Middle East (127), and North America (297). That's why it's called the FDR1000 Index. It also tracks the gender distribution across these companies. Of the total 2,167 founders, only 131 are women; 941 of the total 4,878 C-level executives; and 380 of the 3,358 board members.
According to the Diversity for Growth report only 16.512 of the 1,032 fintech firms are founded solely by women, and they received only 1% of the total fintech venture funding.
Of the 16 fintech firms with only female founders, Africa has 3.2%. The continent is closely followed by the Middle East (2.4%), Europe (2%), Asia-Pacific (1.5%), and Latin America (1.5%).
African fintech firms with only female founders received 1.8% of venture funding, which is also higher than the global average. But it's titchy compared to the 93% their male counterparts received.
Findexable reported that fintech companies with male-only founders accounted for most of Africa's revenue (89%) in 2020. And companies with only female founders accounted for about 2% of the continent's revenue.
Africa also has the highest proportion of female board members with 14.8%.
The maiden edition of the Diversity for Growth report and the FDR1000 index are instructive. They show fast-growing regions such as the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America are outpacing western markets. According to Findexable, the most successful female founders of the past few years are in these regions.
"While the research paints a disappointing picture of fintech’s performance at building an industry that reflects the real world, it should be viewed as a line in the sand", Findexable co-founder Denise Gee says.
"From today all of us — from government to regulators, ecosystems and financial services firms of all sizes — need to ‘dig in’ (not lean in) to make the case and accelerate the progress of women and diverse teams".
In partnership with the University of Illinois, Findexable has been running a survey targeting employees of all levels within fintech companies around the world. The survey is central to the Diversity for Growth report and the FDR1000. The dataset enables the research and analytics firm to track diversity in the fintech ecosystem. It also play a key role in achieving Findexable's target of 30 by 30 — 30% of women-led fintech firms by 2030.
"Global prosperity is more evenly distributed than at any point in history, yet our data shows the massive imbalance between men and women in innovative financial services firms", Findexable CEO and co-founder Simon Hardie says.
Take the Gender Diversity Radar Survey. Let your voice be heard. It is open to anyone, of any gender, working in fintech or financial services.