Bayer Foundation Women Empowerment Award 2021

For the first time, Bayer Foundation is launching a Women Empowerment Award. With this award, Bayer Foundation wants to empower women as key change makers and help female entrepreneurs generate social impact in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through the Women Empowerment Award, Bayer Foundation offers a partnership which goes far beyond a one-off cash prize. The award includes 25,000 EUR in cash plus an in-kind contribution that equals 25,000 EUR in the form of a 24-week growth accelerator. During this period, the winners will receive tailored support and training for scaling, including active investor feedback. In addition, they will be able to will tap into an extensive network of Bayer experts, who will offer coaching both in health and nutrition as well as sustainable agriculture related focus areas. Last but not least, all winners will become part of Bayer Foundation’s exceptional global alumni and partner network, which offers the opportunity to raise capital and exchange knowledge about experience gained.

By supporting female entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas, Bayer Foundation specifically recognizes and celebrates their role as game changers driving sustainability and social impact through entrepreneurial innovation.

“Studies have shown that women play a central role in bringing change and working towards a more equal society. We also see this in our daily work. In the many years of Bayer Foundation’s activities, the positive impact of strong women has been a central theme. They are the change makers we need. As a basic principle for our activities, we therefore have chosen to strengthen and highlight the role of women as leaders in science and as entrepreneurs,” states Monika Lessl, Executive Director of Bayer Foundation.

Bayer Foundation has a strong track record of supporting female-led social enterprises. One example includes the Kenyan insurtech startup Pula. Led by and Co-CEO Rose Goslinga, Pula bundles insurance products with farm inputs, such as fertilizer, seeds, or credit. This substantially lowers risks for farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa who want to invest in more expensive, higher-yielding inputs. The insurance provides income stability for farmers who are at the mercy of droughts, floods, and pests.

“What do farmers really want? They don’t necessarily want insurance. So instead of selling insurance directly to farmers, we package our insurance with products that farmers want and need, like seeds and fertilizer,” says Pula’s Co-CEO Rose Goslinga.

By supporting social enterprises such as Pula and many others (see here), Bayer Foundation has built a network of partners that can help reach its vision of ‘Health for All, Hunger for None.’ Through this ecosystem, we can address some of the world’s most pressing challenges related to health and food insecurity, which affects millions of smallholder families across Sub-Sahara Africa. By addressing these challenges, Bayer Foundation also works towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, especially zero hunger (#SDG 2) and good health and well-being (#SDG 3).

Rose Goslinga: “Bayer Foundation brings insights and visibility to our work. To make significant progress towards the SDG on combating hunger, we all need to get smarter about how to engage with smallholder farmers and Bayer Foundation and MercyCorps are great partners to learn with and help share those learnings with the broader ecosystem.”


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