Women Owned Fund Company raises 100 Million USD To Fund Women Led Businesses In Africa

Women Owned Fund Company raises 100 Million USD To Fund Women Led Businesses In Africa

Alitheia IDF, A women-focused private equity fund in Africa has raised $100 million to invest in women led businesses across the continent.

The fund is looking to bridge the financing gap for women-led or owned businesses in Africa - where women startup founders are less likely to receive funding despite their increasing enterprise.

Women-only founders have received less than 1% of the nearly $5 billion that has been raised by startups across Africa so far this year.

"Globally, women have tremendous purchasing power as consumers and controllers of household economics. In the same vein, women entrepreneurs have a significant presence in Africa's SME sector with African women making up 58% of the continent's self-employed population. However, despite this economic power and presence, they are underserved as consumers and producers," said Alitheia's principal partner in Nigeria, Tokunboh Ishmael.

Ishmael adds that the exclusion of women has had a huge impact on Africa's economic growth as the potential of more than half of its population remains untapped due to structural and systemic issues.

"We are proactively working towards filling this gap with a clear mandate to support women-led businesses across the continent while raising awareness for gender smart investment as a path towards inclusive economic growth," she said.

Alitheia invests in growth stage companies across Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia, representing a small fraction of the 55 countries in Africa.

The investee companies are Jetstream Africa (Ghana), ReelFruit Ltd (Nigeria), SKLD (formerly SchoolKits, Nigeria), AV Light Steel (South Africa) and Chika?s Food (Nigeria).

Alitheia IDF is supported by investors across four continents: the African Development Bank, Bank of Industry Nigeria, FinDev Canada, Dutch Good Growth Fund and the European Investment Bank. In 2019, the fund announced its first close at $75 million with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, stating at the time that Alitheia IDF had fulfilled its commitment to raise funds for female-led businesses. "Promise made, promise kept!" he declared.

Excerpted from AfricanBusiness & Tech Crunch