Savca, MiDA launch gender initiative to unlock investment

21st April 2021 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Creamer Media Reporter

To increase the number of investable women fund managers in Southern Africa, global transaction and financial advisory firm MiDA Advisors and industry body the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) are launching the Women Empowerment Mentoring and Incubation Fund Manager (WE>MI) programme, which is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

While progress towards the United Nation's gender equality Sustainable Development Goal is growing in many industries, the private equity sector in Southern Africa continues to lag.

“In the Southern African region, only 9% of the fund managers that are members of Savca are women-owned and collectively manage less than 3% of the assets under management per Savca’s records,” Savca CEO Tanya van Lill says.

“Through support and funding from USAID, the programme aims to increase the number of investable women-owned and women-managed fund managers in Southern Africa by providing technical assistance and investment support facilitation,” says MiDA Advisors senior MD and partner Nadine Mentor.

The WE>MI technical assistance will include skills development in the form of workshops and masterclasses, one-on-one mentoring, and facilitated access to resource partners for women-owned and women-managed fund managers in Southern Africa.

The investment support facilitation will focus on providing participants with investment support and investment readiness assistance to increase the success rate for capital raising among participants.

Graduates of the programme will have the opportunity to pitch their funds to key investment sources in the US, Africa and Europe. The selected funds will invest in companies that directly benefit the Southern African region, with a particular focus on companies that benefit women.

This inaugural programme is said to have the potential to unlock $20-million of investment funding into the Southern African region, build the capacity and networks of African fund managers and support the successful development, growth and sustainability of women-owned and women-managed funds.

The 13-month WE>MI programme will work with other women-focused programmes in Africa, including the African Women Impact Fund, to leverage opportunities and resources for women.

The WE>MI programme will accept applications until May 10 at 17:00 and is scheduled to kick-off in June and end in July.