Empowering for Success: Lessons in Supporting Women-Led Agribusinesses
Supporting women-led enterprises has been an important focus of the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program since its inception nearly a decade ago. Beginning with the Accelerating Women’s Entrepreneurship (AWE) award in 2018 and continuing with the Growing Women’s Entrepreneurship (GroWE) awards in 2019 and 2020, the program has supported woman-owned and -operated agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen the capacity of individual female entrepreneurs and help them to scale and grow their businesses.
Join Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation on Thursday, February 17, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. EST to learn the key findings of a new report examining the role of the AWE and GroWE awards in supporting women entrepreneurs and their businesses, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how recipients continue to leverage the tools and resources developed as part of their awards.
A brief presentation of key report findings by the study team from The Canopy Lab will be followed by a facilitated Q&A with two GroWE award recipients and an open Q&A exchange for all participants.
Director, Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation
Laura Harwig is Director of Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a USAID-funded program implemented by Fintrac Inc., that builds partnerships with agribusinesses to help them commercialize new products and services for the benefit of smallholder farmers in emerging markets. Prior to joining Partnering for Innovation, she served as Fintrac Inc.’s Vice President of Field Activities and oversaw implementation of market systems and value chain development programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The Canopy Lab
Laura Kim brings over 13 years of experience conducting research and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) assignments for a variety of programs, including those focused on market systems development, SME development, and women’s economic empowerment. Ms. Kim is well versed in mixed-methods research, ranging from statistical modelling to nuanced qualitative data collection and analysis. From 2016 to 2021, Laura was the MEL Advisor on the Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF). She also conducted assignments for the World Bank, including coordinating two research projects in Ethiopia, one which focused on adolescent girls and the other which focused on women employees in the industrial park of Addis Ababa. She has an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA from Amherst College.
The Canopy Lab
Bridie Laplace is a Private Sector Development and Women’s Economic Empowerment specialist with over 12 years of experience working with development institutions and the private sector to optimize outcomes for women across Sub-Saharan Africa. Her professional background includes investment and strategic advisory, with a specialization in women’s economic empowerment over the last years. Her past employers include key actors in the field of gender inclusion initiatives, such as UN Women, Dalberg Advisors, and PROPARCO (AFD Group). Prior to joining the IFC Energy2Equal program in 2021 as a Gender Advisor, Bridie worked for a UK Aid-funded program in the DRC. Through gender audits, action plans development, and capacity building activities, she supported local companies in adopting gender inclusive practices and raising awareness of the business case for investing in gender equality. Bridie is a French Congolese citizen and holds a Master’s degree in Management from Skema Business School.
Linnet Akol is Managing Director of Krystal Ice, a popsicle company she founded in 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. Krystal Ice sources the fruits used in its popsicles from a cooperative of smallholder farmers and local fruit aggregators supplied by individual farmers and cooperatives. Linnet holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and has significant experience in business management and operations. She is a 2019 recipient of the Growing Women’s Entrepreneurship (GroWE) award through the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program.
Founder and CEO
Sylvia Natukunda is CEO of Farm Reap, a yogurt company she founded in 2014 in Kampala, Uganda. Farm Reap works with smallholder farmer-supplied milk collection centers to source milk used in producing the company’s five flavors of yogurt. Sylvia has more than a decade of experience in agribusiness management, including extensive work in the dairy industry and agriculture value chains. She holds a Master’s degree in Agribusiness Management from Makerere University. Sylvia is a 2019 recipient of the Growing Women’s Entrepreneurship (GroWE) award through the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program.