When we got IDF capital off the ground, we placed our primary focus on women entrepreneurs because we noticed that though efforts to facilitate the mainstreaming of black businesses were being made, black women were still being left out. This is despite a market study that had been done by the department of trade and industry that showed that women made up the majority of self-employed people of small micro and medium-sized enterprises.
We, therefore, made it our mission to focus on women-owned businesses.
Namibia based Baobab Capital is raising $50m through the Baobab Growth Fund II to drive the growth of early-stage, fast-growth companies across Southern Africa. The fund will leverage off the success of the Baobab Growth Fund I which has successfully invested in eight companies in Baobab’s home market of Namibia.
The launch of the fund presents an opportunity both for investors looking to tap into the growth of early-stage African start-ups and for entrepreneurs ready to scale their business in the SADC region.
The 2017 African Investing for Impact Barometer (AIFIB) shows that investing for positive social and environmental impact or good governance is becoming the norm rather than the exception on the continent, with $428.29 billion in financial assets having been directed to this end in southern, East and West Africa in the past year.
"We want to do with business banking what we’ve done with retail banking. We believe banking can be a little complex and non-transparent for a lot of people.
Our philosophy of simplicity and transparency will, therefore, be fundamental to our approach. We also need to move business from paper to a much more digitised system. This is something we are looking to achieve within the next eighteen months. Moving SMEs from paper-based systems to digitised systems will make their transactions easier and more transparent."