Queer & Allied Chamber of Commerce Africa (QACC Africa)

Support economic empowerment for queer entrepreneurs: the power of the Pink economy!

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The Queer & Allied Chamber of Commerce Africa (QACC Africa) was established to create an ecosystem that facilitates and promotes commercial relationships and widen supply-chains between queer owned and/or operated businesses, entrepreneurs and their allies, in nations throughout Africa. Although QACC Africa was formally registered in 2022, the underlying concept has been in existence since early 2021 when the three co-founders met and organised their first safe queer community event in Nairobi, Kenya. Our advocacy focuses on the principal of economic inclusion. To achieve its objectives, QACC Africa works closely with businesses, professional associations, multilateral business groups, and international, national, regional and community queer organisations. QACC Africa is the gateway for queer owned businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the continent to increase sales and strengthen business opportunities. Creating a strong network of queer and allied businesses and entrepreneurs, allows members to take their business further, finding opportunities with other queer entrepreneurs, businesses and potential investors. In time, QACC Africa will grow to be an incubator for queer start-ups and entrepreneurs to access both grants and investment. QACC Africa will establish a process and platform to certify queer owned and/or operated businesses, and those business allied to the community, that are truly inclusive. This will promote supply chain collaboration and procurement opportunities. Furthermore, QACC Africa will bring community members and allies together, and highlight the right resources for queer business owners, operators and entrepreneurs to be even more successful by providing professional capacity development through training, mentorship and the nurturing of talent. VISION: To facilitate a diverse and inclusive economy in Africa by establishing a dynamic and thriving commercial ecosystem for queer-owned and allied- operated businesses. MISSION: To promote and support the growth of queer-owned and/or operated businesses across Africa through training and capacity building, partnership formation, and networking in order to raise awareness about the impact of the queer economy and facilitate investment opportunities. OBJECTIVES: 1. To build and nurture queer and allied business trade, collaboration, procurement partnerships and supply chain corridors. 2. To strengthen queer owned and/or operated businesses and formalize queer entrepreneur's businesses. 3. To be an incubator for queer start- ups and entrepreneurs and be the hub for investors in queer and allied businesses. 4. To provide certification for queer owned and/or operated businesses, and allied corporates that actively support the queer community. 5. To advocate for economic inclusion and equality of access for the queer community. PROBLEM STATEMENT: It is hard to truly know the statistics of the queer community in countries throughout Africa, however we all understand that just because people (and their businesses) may not be overtly "out and proud", the LGBTQ+ population in various African countries, as a percentage of population, can be considered and compared to other nations where statistics are available. If we consider Canada, which has a population of 38 million, smaller than most African nations, Canada is home to over 100,000 LGBTQ+ owned businesses. These businesses generate over US$16 billion in economic activity and employ over 435,000 Canadians. Therefore it is safe to assume that untapped LGBTQ+ business in Africa is big business and can be a driving force for economic activism and driving change on the continent: the power of the Pink Coin (Shilling, Franc, Dollar, Rand, etc). Throughout Africa, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs face barriers, including having to hide who they were in business dealings to avoid losing opportunities, and the potential for exploitation by competitors, clients, employees, and government bodies. There is a growing number of individuals, organisations and companies looking to build business together – one connection at a time. A community of LGBTQ+ businesses, and even diverse procurement practices, will help tip the scales. QACC Africa incorporates all of these positive forces, quietly advocating amongst community and allied members, to make a more inclusive African economy, whilst recognising the challenges of each country on the continent.