Alitheia IDF drives growth in African SMEs by leveraging gender-balanced businesses to generate high returns and impact
A Pioneering Private Equity Fund
Alitheia IDF is a pioneering private equity fund that identifies, invests in, and grows SMEs led by gender-diverse teams to achieve solid financial returns and tangible social impact for communities in Africa.
From our offices in Lagos and Johannesburg, we invest in six countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.
We invest in sectors that engage a significant percentage of women, either as entrepreneurs, producers, distributors or consumers. Some of these sectors are: Agribusiness, Consumer Goods, Health, Education, Creative Industries, and Financial and Business services.
Strategy and Impact
Achieving market rate returns while supporting female entrepreneurs
“Companies with a greater share of women on their boards of directors and executive committees tend to perform better financialy... In Africa, companies in the top quartile with regards to women’s representation on executive committees outperformed industry EBIT margins by 14% on average”…
- McKinsey 'Women Matter Africa' (2016)
Central to Alitheia IDF's investment strategy is the development of well-run, well-positioned, attractive businesses where value is realized through gender diversity, good governance and operational improvements.
We are the only private equity fund manager in Africa prioritizing growth stage companies which have gender diversified management teams with the vision and potential to scale regionally and drive economic and social transformation. We invest to create superior returns by leveraging on women as successful business leaders.
To deliver economic and social impact we employ a gender lens alongside our rigorous investment process. This means we seek to provide economic power to women as producers, users of essential services, and entrepreneurs.
Gender lens investing means providing economic power to women as producers, users of essential services, and entrepreneurs.
We invest in value chains that create wealth across the rural, urban and income divide.
By investing in high performing gender diverse teams we create value in African women and girls, African communities, African productivity, African value addition, and African solutions.
The two principals have a combined 40 years+ track record in investing and business development in Africa.
The team has a demonstrable track record investing across Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Lesotho, as well as experience in Francophone and Eastern Africa, and beyond the continent. They have also concluded M&A deals with combined values in excess of $5 billion.
Principal Partner - Nigeria
Tokunboh Ishmael is a highly accomplished and experienced private equity investor. She is MD and co-founder of Alitheia Capital – a Nigerian-based investment management and advisory business channelling private equity investments to transform businesses in West Africa where funding gaps create unique opportunities.
Tokunboh is a CFA Charterholder, corporate financier and M&A banker having worked on over $5.6 billion M&A deals across the US, UK and Africa. Exceptionally experienced in the energy, oil, gas, technology and financial services sectors, she is now focussed on helping to invest and build sustainable SME growth businesses across attractive, consumer-led sectors including Agribusiness, Financial Services, Healthcare & Pharma, Infrastructure, Transport, Retail and Tech / Telecoms mainly on behalf of discerning institutions, development organisations and corporates looking for a mix of responsible investing, economic impact and social responsibility.
Principal Partner - South Africa
Polo Leteka is a highly accomplished and experienced entrepreneur and private equity investor. She is the Executive Director and co-Founder of IDF Capital - a South African based entrepreneurial financier and advisory firm. Through IDF Capital, Polo has contributed towards channeling investments into women owned SMEs across South Africa.
Polo, an accountant by training, has experience in Public and Private sectors of South Africa in accounting and audits, corporate finance, investment banking, public policy formulation, venture capital and private equity. At a fairly young age, Polo was tasked with leading the process of developing South Africa's first ever Codes of Good Practice on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment. With this ground breaking work, coupled with her participation in South Africa's version of the Dragons Den, speaking engagements, articles on transformation and entrepreneurship including being a co-author of an entrepreneurship book "..and for all these reasons, I'M IN...", she is a thought leader in areas of economic transformation and development, as well as a key investor in Africa's expanding SME sector.
Investment Manager - Nigeria
Mobola is a dynamic professional and an authentic leader with a broad network in the African business community. Her career spans private equity, management consulting and financial advisory in West, East and Southern Africa, and the United States. She has spent the last decade with Alitheia Capital building a portfolio of impact funds and investing in high potential businesses on the African continent.
Mobola has also been an active contributor to the development of the investing ecosystem in Nigeria though her involvement in the Lagos Angel Network, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (West Africa Chapter) and the Entrepreneurs Ecosystem. Prior to Alitheia, she has worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Botswana, Accenture in Nigeria, Howard Frazier Barker Elliott and Nextel Communications, both in the USA.
Mobola sits on a number of advisory boards, and is also a Certified Public Accountant, a WimBoard Institute Fellow and an AJC Project Interchange Alumni
Investment Manager - South Africa
Phokwane is a Chartered Accountant and seasoned investment professional. She has extensive experience in leading and managing due diligence teams, structuring and negotiating terms, presenting investment papers and implementing and monitoring approved investments.
In her previous role as COO of IDF Capital, Phokwane led the Post Investment team supporting and monitoring investments in over 60 SMEs, majority of which were women-owned and led. Prior to joining IDF Capital, she was a Senior Account Manager at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) where she evaluated and sought investment approval for Construction companies and Green Energy projects. In her 5 years at the IDC, she concluded transactions in excess of R2.5 billion including those outside South Africa covering countries such as Lesotho, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to joining IDC, Phokwane was a Manager in the Corporate Finance unit of Deloitte and has also worked as Credit Analyst with then Absa Corporate and Merchant Bank.
ESG & Social Impact Manager
Temilade is a social development practitioner with core competence in research and communications. Through her background in various sectors including education, labour protection, health and gender support, Temilade has amassed experience in project development, monitoring and evaluation and policy analysis at different levels of development intervention through her work at organizations including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), Growing Businesses Foundation, the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Temilade’s role at Alitheia Identity involves ensuring the full integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to the investment process, and unlocking opportunities for social impact on women through the Firm's investment activities.
Gender lens investing toolkit
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