Fintech is one of the most male-dominated tech sectors globally, and that’s true across Africa too.

For all its successes, one widespread critique of the global fintech sector is the lack of gender diversity. Various studies have shown that companies in the sector are largely founded & led by men, their workforces are comprised mostly of men, and their user bases are predominantly male.

For example, research by global fintech think tank findexable shows that just 12% of VC-backed privately-owned fintechs worldwide have women founders/co-founders and under 6% of all fintech CEOs globally are women. And a 2021 paper from the Bank for International Settlements, for example, found a “large gender gap” in the use of fintech products and services across 28 major economies.

While there’s limited data on this in Nigeria — arguably the continent’s foremost fintech hub — the available evidence in the country and other markets across the continent suggests that Africa’s fintech sector faces similar gender diversity challenges.

But there’s a new face of fintech in Nigeria that’s largely underappreciated.

Roughly 20% of VC-backed fintechs in Africa’s most populous country have at least one woman co-founder. And some of them, like Klasha, are intentionally building gender-diverse workforces, while others, like Herconomy and HerVest, explicitly focus on serving female customer segments.

Here’s a list of forty-four women founders & co-founders of VC-backed fintechs in Nigeria.

By Emeka Ajene

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Emeka is the Founder & Publisher of Afridigest and leads Africreate, a strategic advisory firm that helps global senior executives, corporates, and investors take advantage of opportunities in African markets. He also connects global capital to promising Africa Tech investment opportunities via investment firm Africapital. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.