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posted Friday, January 8, 2020 - Volume 49 Issue 02
Virtual coaching for LGBTQI* entrepreneurs in South Africa: Five challenges and five lessons
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Virtual coaching for LGBTQI* entrepreneurs in South Africa: Five challenges and five lessons

(December 8, 2020) - Dreilinden is reporting back on its first coaching program for LGBTQI* entrepreneurs in South Africa [https://bit.ly/2VZMsb3]. The program was launched [as a] follow-up to the Queer Pitch Days in South Africa [https://bit.ly/3gnwW2k] where we had identified six entrepreneurs with high potential business models and outsized impact on LGBTQI* communities.

With COVID-19 hitting South Africa right at the beginning of the program, the cohort was facing existential threats. What started as a healthcare crisis quickly expanded to an economic one. Many of the entrepreneurs had to completely shut down and rethink their business model.

The article looks at the challenges faced by the six entrepreneurs, discusses how the entrepreneurs responded to the crisis, and concludes with five lessons learned. The aspiration is to learn from this one-of-a-kind experience, so we can assist in equipping future cohorts with the tools required to manage through these types of existential challenges.

What is Queer Lens Impact investing about? Queer Lens Impact (QLI) investing is an alternative investment approach with a dedicated focus on queer empowerment. It stands for the full spectrum of gender identification, expression, and sex characteristics in the investment process. Due to conscious and unconscious biases, queer communities as well as entrepreneurs continue to struggle with access to financial systems and support systems (such as mentorship programs). The lack of visibility of queer entrepreneurs not only has devastating effects on the livelihoods of the entrepreneurs and their families but also results in huge economic loss. QLI sets out to change that!

See previous articles "The Queer Impact Investment Universe" [https://bit.ly/3lY6cX6] and "Queer Lens Impact Investing: Country Selection" [https://bit.ly/2VWNOmU] to glean further insights on assessing and evaluating opportunities through a queer lens. Develop a deeper understanding of the importance of going beyond a binary gender definition in "Beyond Gender Lens Investing" [https://bit.ly/37IKD89]. Follow Dreilinden's foray into direct impact investing chronicled in "Thriving Entrepreneurship in South Africa" [https://bit.ly/2JY4pEl], and check out our first response to COVID-19 in "Philanthropy for a Rainy Day: Our COVID-19 Response"

https://bit.ly/33SgRMQ

Dreilinden gGmbh is a Germany-based foundation dedicated to advancing societal acceptance of gender and sexual diversity.

Courtesy of Dreilinden gGmbh

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