• Editor

Gender initiative has the potential to unlock $20m for investment

While progress towards the gender equality Sustainable Development Goal is growing in many industries, the private equity sector in Southern Africa continues to lag. According to Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), “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.”

To increase the number of investable women fund managers in Southern Africa, MiDA Advisors, a global transaction and financial advisory firm, and SAVCA are launching the Women Empowerment Mentoring and Incubation Fund Manager Programme (WE>MI) supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “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 Nadine Mentor, Partner and Senior Managing Director at MiDA Advisors.

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 amongst participants. Graduates of the programme will have the opportunity to pitch their funds to key investment sources in the United States, 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 has 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 10 May 2021 at 17:00 CAT and is scheduled to kick-off in June 2021 and end by July 2022. For more details on the WE>MI programme, supported and funded by USAID, please click here.



The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) is the industry body and public policy advocate for private equity and venture capital in Southern Africa. SAVCA members represents in excess of R185 billion in assets under management through 170 members that form part of the private equity and venture capital ecosystem. SAVCA promotes the Southern African venture capital and private equity asset classes on a range of matters affecting the industry. SAVCA also provides relevant and insightful research, offers training and creates meaningful networking opportunities for industry players.

About MiDA Advisors

MiDA Advisors is a global transaction and financial advisory firm specializing in facilitating institutional investments and trade in Africa and other emerging markets. Our mission is to identify investment opportunities and provide transaction advisory services in emerging markets in partnership with development finance institutions, governments, institutional investors, and research institutions. MiDA Advisors has offices in the U.S., South Africa, and Kenya.

Originally founded during the 2nd US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in 2016 under a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the firm expanded to an implementing partner firm engaged by USAID and private sector organizations for development finance and transaction advisory services in 2019. In the last three years, MiDA-affiliated asset owners closed on investment deals targeting Africa and other emerging markets totaling over $1 billion.

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