May 19, 2020

EIB: boosting gender equality in Africa

women
Women in Leadership
women in business
Equality
Leah Netabai
2 min
EIB: boosting gender equality in Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB) launches a new initiative - SheInvest - to boost gender equality and female economic empowerment in Africa.

The aim of the initiative is to utilise US$1.09bn of investment money to benefit millions of women across Africa, providing better access to finance as well as creating a sustainable infrastructure of products and services. 

EIB aims to build on its experience in northern and sub-Saharan African countries, as well as its gender focused lending to increase its investment efforst in projects, sectors and markets that will help to transform gender equality as well as increase the capacity for participation in the economy and labour markets. Technical assistance will also provide, capacity building and mentoring services to women entrepreneurs, to provide better access to finance and tailored financial products.

In addition, particular focus will be spent on targeting climate and gender responsive infrastructure projects, such as enhancing access to water as well as clean, reliable and affordable energy and sustainable public transport.

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“Unlocking the potential of women is key to boosting Africa’s economic growth. In several African countries many women still lack access to basic services and are excluded from the financial and labour markets, making them unable to contribute fully to their continent’s development. As the bank of the European Union, we are committed to deliver on gender equality and are proud to be backing this important mission through the new SheInvest initiative,” commented Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President in charge of development operations.

Did you know? Business Chief Africa spoke with Dr. Anino Emuwa, Founder of Avandis Consulting this month to discuss women in leadership roles.

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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