Dealflow | December 9, 2022

ImpactAlpha Deal spotlight: Financing women-led small businesses in Africa

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, December 9 — Small businesses are drivers of jobs and inclusive economic growth. In Africa, where more than half of small businesses are led by women, catalytic capital is helping bridge yawning capital gaps.

An African consortium led by Mennonite Economic Development Associates, or MEDA, will manage the Africa Growth Fund, Mastercard Foundation’s new $200 million fund of funds, which will invest in women-led and owned funds investing in early-stage, growth small and mid-sized businesses.

Women fund managers

The Africa Growth Fund’s first investment is Nigeria’s Aruwa Capital, a gender-lens fund led by a woman first-time fund manager. Aruwa raised over $20 million this week to help Nigerian small and mid-sized businesses be more inclusive businesses for women managers, workers and customers.

Catalytic capital

A $75 million partnership between the U.K.’s British International Investment and Nairobi-based African Guarantee Fund will guarantee loans from partner financial institutions to small businesses in Africa, especially women-led firms focused on climate solutions.