Women Rising | September 26, 2022

African Women Impact Fund secures initial $60 million for gender-lens investments

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, September 26 — South Africa’s Standard Bank Group and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa are looking to raise $1 billion over the next decade to drive sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa via gender-inclusive investments.

Women-owned and -led businesses in African emerging markets receive just 7% of private equity and venture capital, the partners say. By investing in women fund managers in Africa, Standard Bank Group and ECA aim to make more capital available to women entrepreneurs in high-impact sectors on the continent.

“Supporting emerging African female fund managers will promote the emergence of women fund managers and entrepreneurs, and increase economic output, job creation, and women’s economic empowerment and prosperity,” said ECA’s Antonio Pedro.

Impact management

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, or BADEA, will allocate $15 million to the fund; South Africa’s Motor Industry Retirement Funds and Copartes Pension Fund committed $45 million.

Cape Town-based fund manager RisCura will manage the fund’s investments and lead out fundraising. RisCura’s Malcolm Fair said the commitments from MIRF and Copartes will “assist us in attracting potential global institutional investors on the next fundraising drive.”

Other partners in the formation of the fund include UN Women, the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, the African Women Leadership Network and MiDA Advisors.