United Nation, Sterling One Foundation to boost women participation in Fintech with $20m

By Chinwendu Obienyi

Sterling One Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) through its Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPOs) have pledged to boost the participation of women in fintech and circular economy with $20 million funding to be launched at the 2023 edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS).


The CEO of Sterling One foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, while speaking at a media conference in Lagos, stated that the impact of the Summit is unique with an aim of accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through impact investments in critical areas of the economy.

Launched in 2022, the second edition of the Summit tagged “Global Vision, Local Action: Repositioning the African Development Ecosystem for Sustainable Outcomes” will be held in Lagos, from August 10 – 11, 2023.

While highlighting the achievement of the summit including in areas of food security, technology, capacity building, renewable energy among others, she said that “In addition to the firm’s other development projects, it is setting up a $20million fund in partnership with UNIDO, to serve as a catalytic capital that is targeted at women in fintech and in the circular economy.

According to her, the plan is in the final stages, and we already have some seed capital to start it up. This would be launched at this Africa Social Impact Summit and then we build from there.

We are also very excited as more investors have indicated interest to be part of the project.”

Ibekwe reiterated the commitment of the Sterling One Foundation to establishing a credible framework for collaboration between public and private sectors, impact investments for social enterprises involved in critical sectors.

The United Nation Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale while speaking noted the immense potentials in the country and the continent at large and commended the efforts being put in actualizing them for common good.

“There is a lot of good stuff already happening but the challenge is bringing it into scale. There are a lot of fascinating initiatives in this country, a lot of Entrepreneurial Spirit and goodwill. However, the issue is harnessing these potentials into something meaningful and beneficial for all by building on our success stories.

Schmale added that the Summit would increase involvement of key stakeholders across private and public sectors in developing policies to aid the speedy achievement of the SDGs

ASIS has garnered prominence in over 66 countries and partnership from several global institutions. In this edition, partners will get the opportunity to showcase the latest impact-focused innovations across sectors; while building stronger relationships. Impact investors will also get the opportunity to listen to pitches from impact-driven entrepreneurs during the Summit’s Deal Room sessions.

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