Alitheia IDF raises $1M to invest across Africa in gender-diverse enterprises

Alitheia IDF is Africa’s first woman-led and women-focused equity fund. It has closed its final $1M fund.
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Alitheia IDF is led by Polo Leteka, Tokunboh Ishmael as principal partners. It invests in growth-stage businesses in six African countries: Nigeria, South Africa Ghana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Lesotho, Zambia, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

This project aims to close the financing gap in Africa for these small businesses, thereby enabling women entrepreneurs to access capital to help them scale their business.

The African Development Bank, Bank of Industry Nigeria and FinDev Canada are the investors backing the fund. They also support the European Investment Bank and the Dutch Good Growth Fund. The closing investor was the European Investment Bank (EIB), who contributed $24,600,000.

The fund led five investment rounds in women-led businesses in 2021 — Jetstream Africa, ReelFruit, Nigeria, SKLD (formerly SchoolKits Nigeria), AV light steel (South Africa), and Chika’s Food, Nigeria.

Globally, women possess tremendous purchasing power as consumers and controllers in household economics. Women entrepreneurs are also a prominent presence in Africa’s SME industry, with African women accounting for 58 percent of the continent’s self employed population. Yet, despite their economic power and presence in Africa, African women are not well served as producers and consumers .” — Alitheia’s principal partner in Nigeria is TokunbohIshmael.

“This has had a tremendous impact on economic growth because the potential of more that half the continent’s inhabitants remains untapped due structural and systemic problems. This gap is being filled by proactive efforts to fill it. We have a clear mandate for supporting women-led businesses across Africa and raising awareness about gender smart investing as a way towards inclusive economic growth em>

Thomas Ostros, vice-president of EIB, stated that women-owned businesses struggle to raise funds despite their proven performance.

“It is a pleasure to support the true “by women for women” 2X Flagship fund, which invests in companies that create job opportunities and increase diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy. EIB’s investment into Alitheia IDF was part of our SheInvest initiative, which aims to mobilize EUR2B of investment to promote gender equality and economic empowerment on the African continent. He stated that he believes gender equality is a key factor in strengthening societies ,”.

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