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Dell and IMPACT announce collaboration to support women's empowerment in Democratic Republic of Congo

    Susi Huisman
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    By Susi Huisman in the group Redactie EPRM 122 days ago
    Dell and IMPACT announce collaboration to support women's empowerment in Democratic Republic of Congo

    As the Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) meets in Toronto to discuss issues and opportunities that women entrepreneurs face, the tech leader announces new funding for business education of women in Congo focused on investing strategies to support new entrepreneurship opportunities. The trainings are part of the AFECCOR project, partly funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM).

    Dell is teaming with the Canadian-based non-profit IMPACT to provide women in the Democratic Republic of Congo with business education focused on investing their savings into new entrepreneurship opportunities in their communities.

    The partnership will provide over 300 women artisanal gold miners in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri Province with business skills training through IMPACT’s Artisanal Mining Women’s Empowerment Credit and Savings project (AFECCOR). The AFECCOR project supports women and men in artisanal gold mining communities in establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations. Participants are empowered to invest their savings into new entrepreneurial activities. Hereby, AFECCOR specifically targets women’s social and economic empowerment in their homes, at artisanal mine sites, and in the wider community. With Dell’s funding, IMPACT can expand the support it provides to women participating in the project.

    “Our research shows that access to secure savings and credit is a major barrier for women to have an equal opportunity as economic actors in the artisanal mining sector. With the support of AFECCOR, women have been putting aside a small amount of money into their savings for the past months—and as that amount increases, so does their confidence in planning for the future,” said Joanne Lebert, IMPACT’s Executive Director.

    “Women are now excited about what they can do with their growing savings. Thanks to Dell’s support, we can provide women participating in the project with the skills they need to succeed in their new entrepreneurial activities and supplement their income,” Lebert added.

    Dell has a long-standing commitment to support women’s empowerment, connecting women entrepreneurs with access to capital, networks and technology to grow their business. The company is also committed to empowering vulnerable communities impacted by the technology supply chain. By operating this project in a remote rural area with high rates of poverty, illiteracy, and poor infrastructure (health, electricity, and financial services), Dell hopes that women will have more opportunity to be part of the formal economy and contribute to peaceful economic development within their communities and the region.

    “We constantly look for ways to apply our resources and capabilities to address the greatest needs of communities. The partnership with IMPACT will equip women with entrepreneurial skills and business training to help them support their families and fulfill their potential in a particularly vulnerable part of the world,” said Christine Fraser, Chief Responsibility Officer, Dell.

    Read the entire article here.  

    AFECCOR and Dell announcement 

    Photo: A community volunteer provides literacy and financial coaching to members in her Village and Savings Association, as part of IMPACT’s AFECCOR project in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern Ituri Province. Zuzia Danielski/IMPACT