Aruwa Capital to invest $2.5m in Women-owned SMEs in Ghana, Nigeria

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Loans for Women-owned Businesses in Nigeria
Managing Partner, Aruwa Capital, Adesuwa Okunbo-Rhodes

The Managing Partner, Aruwa Capital, Adesuwa Okunbo-Rhodes, has claimed the lack of female capital investors is the reason for investment gap faced by female entrepreneurs in Africa.

According to a statement by the company, the investment gap faced by Women-owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa which comprised 40 per cent of all small and medium enterprises regrettably received only one per cent of startup capital, denoting it as a result of the lack of female capital investors in the region.

She said, “Through its investment strategy, the fund aims to create more sustainable and scalable pathways for economic growth and inclusion in the region. The Fund will invest $500,000 to $2.5m in women-focused small and growing businesses in Nigeria and Ghana, targeting investments in critical sectors such as healthcare, fintech, renewable energy, and essential consumer goods.

“Aruwa invests in innovative businesses, poised for scale, that provide essential goods and services to the rapidly expanding female economy, and businesses that are founded or led by women or have gender diverse teams. The fund has made six investments, committing over 45 per cent of its capital into a diversified portfolio of rapidly growing companies adding that it has established a reputation for rigorous investment selection and active hands-on support of management teams on the ground, to improve company operations and performance.”

On his part, the Head of Investments at Visa Foundation, Najada Kumbuli, speaking on how this financial gap can be bridged, announced Visa Foundation as the first institutional investor in Aruwa Capital Management.

He said, “We deeply believe that in order to address the financing gap that women-led small businesses face, we need to empower and invest in more women-led investment funds like Aruwa.

“We were impressed by Adesuwa’s track record and her approach at tailoring the fund’s financing to small businesses’ needs. We believe the team’s deep commitment to driving equitable and inclusive economic growth through investments will meaningfully support the business owners and the communities they operate in.”

The statement disclosed that the company’s first institutional fund was oversubscribed and exceeded its expected target of $20m.

The Chief of Party, Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund, Samuel Akyianu, said, “We selected Aruwa Capital as one of our first investments because we were impressed by the team’s grit, conviction and depth of analysis, their value addition for early-growth stage SMEs in Nigeria, and their commitment to drive impact for women and youth. We look forward to working with the team to help make Aruwa Capital a success story.”

In addition, the Managing Director, Nyala Venture, Bart Schaap, noted that they were also putting their weight behind the local and innovative capital providers in Sub Saharan Africa with a focus on gender lens.

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