- Principal Partners Alitheia IDF (AIF), Tokunboh Ishmael and Polo Leteka, have secured $100 million (about N40 billion) in investment funding for women's businesses
- The money will be used to help early-stage businesses owned by women and has an impact on women growth
- These businesses will be situated in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Zambia to have a chance of benefiting
Alitheia IDF, an African women private equity fund, has announced a $100 million investment fund to help women entrepreneurs and businesses that impact women.
In a statement published on its website, Alitheia said the fund is looking to bridge the financing gap for women-led or owned businesses in Africa.
The funds will specifically target businesses situated in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Zambia.
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Since 2019 after raised its first $75 million, Alitheia has supported Ghana’s Jetstream Africa, South Africa’s AV Light Steel and Nigeria’s ReelFruit Ltd, SKLD (formerly SchoolKits) and Chika’s Food.
The latest funding will help the company finance more businesses across the target countries.
Speaking on the development, Tokunboh Ishmael, principal partner of Alitheia IDF in Nigeria, said:
“In 2014, Polo Leteka and I co-founded Alitheia IDF (AIF), a pan-African gender-lens private equity fund that identifies, invests in, and supports women-led, women-serving, and gender diverse SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Today, I am delighted to share that the fund has reached its final close at $100 million – making it the first and largest gender-lens PE fund in Africa."
On the future she added:
"AIF has the mandate to plug the over $42 billion investment gap between male and female entrepreneurs as a means of catalysing the economic power of African women as producers, distributors, and consumers.
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"Our aim is to empower businesses that impact women and women-led businesses that go on to create impact through their value chains, unleashing the inclusive economic prosperity that will enable Africa to reach its full potential."
Also speaking, Alitheia’s principal partner in South Africa, Polo Leteka said:
"Africa's progress has been hampered by a long-standing reluctance to fully use the economic potential of African women." Alitheia IDF is on a mission to close this gap by empowering women as consumers and producers through a gender-smart strategy and financial resources."
Who are the investors?
Alitheia investors include the African Development Bank, Bank of Industry Nigeria, FinDev Canada, Dutch Good Growth Fund and the European Investment Bank.
European Investment Bank (EIB) joined the round as the closing investor, committing $24.6 million.
With the needed funds, Alitheia will be hoping that by investing in women, it can unlock the potential of women-led businesses and, ultimately economic transformation.
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