$72m raised to fund women-led businesses in Nigeria, four other countries

Tokunboh Ishmael, Nigerian businesswoman has raised $72 million to invest in female led businesses in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zambia and Lesotho.

 Tokunboh  a senior partner with Alitheia IDF, a first female led private equity fund she co-created with South African Polo Leteka-Radebe according to her will seek to change the narrative around the empowerment of women in the investment space on the continent.


Speaking on the plans Tokunboh Ishmael said: “Women control over $20 trillion in worldwide spending, Alitheia IDF’s fund will facilitate our collective abilities to better meet women’s needs, wants, tastes and preferences to boost Africa’s GDP. We are proactively seeking to finance and support women-led business.”

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Anchor investor who has taken interest on the  fund, Akinwumi Adesina, the President , African Development Bank, in a  statement made available to BusinessDay said: “We are very proud of Alitheia, they are the only private equity fund in Africa investing in women. Closing this fund is a better day for women of Africa, women run Africa and when they get Capital they’ll do much better than you see today.”


The fund signals the beginning of a move that wants to see women equal men in the investment space in 2020.

Management consultancy, Mckinsey estimates there is the potential to add $28 trillion (or 26%) to global annual GDP by the end of 2025 if parity is achieved with women participating in the economy identically to men.


She added that the fund supported by, Industrial Development Cooperation, Bank of Industry Nigeria, FinDev Canada, and Dutch Good Growth Fund plans to leverage the power of women as producers and consumers in the economy from boardroom to factory floor.


 “The outcome will lead to diverse perspectives that enhance decision making and corporate governance to boost innovation and business performance.”

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