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Alitheia IDF raises $10M from Open Society to fuel women empowerment

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Alitheia IDF has raised $10 million from Open Society to amplify women’s voices in economic empowerment.

Alitheia IDF, says the Open Society Economic Justice Program, invested via its impact investing arm, the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF). Alitheia IDF will invest between $1 million and $5 million, with the potential for additional funding at a later stage, into SMEs that promote gender equality.

These sectors include agribusinesses, consumer goods, and essential services.

According to Sarah Hewitt, a program officer with the Open Society Economic Justice Program, “SEDF is also ramping up investment work to directly respond to COVID-19 and has also helped seed an impact investment coordination platform hosted by the Global Impact Investment Network.”

Apart from Alithea IDF, SEDF will also invest $5 million in Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II. The fund invests between $5 million and $10 million in fintechs in emerging markets, where one billion women still lack access to formal financial products and services.

Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II aims to advance women’s financial inclusion as well as increase gender participation at investee companies.

Alitheia IDF Fund and Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II were selected not only because they invest in businesses but are also women-led themselves.

Alitheia IDF Fund is a private equity fund managed by a joint venture between two established managers, Alitheia Capital of Nigeria, and IDF Capital of South Africa. Headquartered in New York, the Women’s World Banking global team supports the development of female-focused financial services.

These social impact investments bring to $33 million in total that SEDF has made since March, across a range of sectors, including gender, climate adaptation, and human rights.

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In 2015, AfDB invested $12.5 million equity investment in Alitheia IDF on its journey to raise $100 million in two closings to make equity investments in high-growth established SMEs with emphasis on women led and / or women managed SMEs’ in 10 African countries (Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe Ghana and Nigeria). AfDB’s equity investment was part of the first closing.

By investing in the Fund, the AfDB said it was in line with its existing initiatives to support African women and the development of private sector and financial markets on the continent.

Late last year, FinDev Canada invested $7.5 million to Alitheia IDF, a fund supporting women-owned and led businesses, to boost women’s economic empowerment and access to finance in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Recently, the firm announced it had raised $75 million in line with its objectives to empower women SME entrepreneurs in the markets it works in across the continent.


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