The World Food Prize Foundation

2020 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Hilary Barry

Founder & Secretary General, LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub

Hilary Barry is founder and Secretary General of the LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub. She is Irish. Since her first experience in Ghana in 1993, she has dedicated her career to the design and implementation of social impact programs across Africa, Caribbean and Pacific states (public health, agriculture, water, social development, agri-SME support and women entrepreneurship). LadyAgri was founded in 2018 by Hilary and her co-founders, Ayélé Sikavi Gabiam from Togo and Aida Axelsson-Bakri, Ethiopian-Swiss. The hub comprises multidisciplinary experts from across Africa and the international agri-business and financial sector. The LadyAgri approach is unique in that it takes a full 360° holistic approach to supporting women in agri-business through mentoring, tailor made technical assistance combined with B2B agri-business partnerships with buyers and technology-equipment providers. Connecting Women to Gender smart investment in the agri-value chain is our key focus. Hilary’s mindset in setting up ‘LadyAgri’ is that investing in women is simply smart economics!. Without access to meso-financing through patient capital, women led agri-businesses cannot grow, cannot create jobs & provide necessary upskilling of their women farmers and workforce in agri-value chains. LadyAgri works in partnership with DFI’s, investment funds, philanthropists, the international donor community and local ‘Gender Smart’ banks, investing in women and agri-value chains. Hilary is a convinced venture philanthropist and believes patient investment in women in agri-supply chains, though challenging, will have a ‘rising tide’ effect and sustainable social impact. She leads a motivated team at LadyAgri both in Brussels, Belgium and across 29 African countries, including Nigeria where they have an extensive group of Women SME members and LadyAgri experts.

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