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New Faces New Voices (NFNV)

est. May 2009

OVERVIEW

New Faces New Voices (NFNV) is a Pan-African network of women in business and finance, which promotes change in the financial sector to harness the untapped economic potential of women. NFNV was launched in May 2009 as the business and finance pillar of “Multiplying Faces, Amplifying Voices,” an initiative of the Graça Machel Trust, which aims to give African women a platform to influence change across different sectors.

NFNV advocates for women to take centre-stage in the financial sector and for gender sensitive investment in the belief that harnessing the economic potential of women can collectively contribute to a large-scale and fundamental shift in the business and financial landscape across Africa. The ultimate objective is to reduce inequalities, improve the economic well being of women and their families, and strengthen African economies and societies at large.

OBJECTIVE

The main objectives of NFNV are:

  • Increasing women’s access to finance, financial services and products
  • Improving women’s skills as entrepreneurs and business leaders in the financial industry
  • Fast-tracking the number and visibility of African women in leadership and decision-making positions in the financial sector

NFNV actively engages key stakeholders in the financial sector in order to achieve its three main goals. Through its work, NFNV wants to deepen the financial inclusion of women on the continent and strengthen the performance of women in the business sector.

In line with its objectives NFNV’s main activities are:

  • To engage with a broad range of financial stakeholders including regulators, development finance institutions, commercial banks, private equity firms, and government officials to advocate for the empowerment women given their positive socio- economic role in meeting the development challenges of Africa
  • To promote the growth of women-owned businesses at all income levels, but especially in the SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) arena
  • To conduct research on gender-responsive investment and how to strengthen the role of women as economic agents, through business and finance
  • To organize the biannual African Women’s Economic Summit together with the African Development Bank as strategic partner. The Summit brings together key stakeholders in the financial sector that can influence and effect change within their respective institutions to better harness the economic potential of women
  • To establish, promote and support National chapters in various African countries to serve as the implementing agents on the ground to drive this agenda forward
  • To identify strategic partners and other “Drivers of Change” to work with