PRESS RELEASE – FutureFinance

The Fold by Future Females joins forces with Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (“ANDE”) and Impact Amplifier to support women climate entrepreneurs to build investment-ready businesses

The Fold,  Future Females’ access to finance division, has announced a new game-changing programme with support from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (“ANDE”), in collaboration with Impact Amplifier which aims to support women in South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and Kenya building climate businesses.

Women climate entrepreneurs building businesses in countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria and Kenya face many challenges, with a predominately recurring obstacle being access to capital.

In a recent survey by The Fold, women climate entrepreneurs in South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, and Kenya were asked for their insights to better understand these barriers to capital.

This new partnership has been established to assist 100+ women climate entrepreneurs in these regions in breaking down the barriers to funding. The initial 6-month period of the programme will support the women entrepreneurs running small and medium climate-focused businesses by educating and enabling them to better prepare their business to access capital, as well as connecting them with potential capital providers and investors.

After successfully completing the 6-month upskilling portion of the programme, a small group of capital-ready participants will be further supported by assigned business analysts to prepare their deal room documents and apply for the capital most appropriate to their business model and stage of growth. This group will be connected with a pool of capital providers looking to invest in climate-focused businesses.

All entrepreneurs will receive coaching from Future Females’ investment coaches throughout the duration of the programme. Gugulethu Siso and Arthi Rabikrisson are among some of the expert coaches on board.

Coach Gugulethu is a serial entrepreneur, she co-founded a Business-to-Business (B2B) startup in Namibia providing retailers with B2B solutions.  The startup netted venture capital (VC) investments grew revenues 7x and counted giants such as Shoprite-Checkers as clients before her exit in 2017. Currently, she is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thumeza (active in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and soon South Africa), a finance-as-a service startup that provides data powered financing for the logistics sector.

Coach Arthi is the founder and Managing Director of Prerna Advisory, based in South Africa, which focuses on capital introductions to alternative funding sources.  She has a neuroscience-based coaching and assessment style for individuals, teams and corporates; and strategic business consulting for SMEs. Over the course of a 15-year corporate career in the investments industry, Arthi has led multiple, successful initiatives among them equity research, talent management, capital raising, portfolio management, transformation, and coaching.

Commenting on the FutureFinance pilot programme, Shirley Gilbey, co-founder and CEO of The Fold said “Entrepreneurs need to understand the different types of capital available, and appropriate, for their specific business models and growth stage. This programme is not about being “pitch ready” for a 2-minute presentation on a stage - it’s about ensuring that our participants understand what they need, what type of capital they are eligible for, where to find it, and how to access it with confidence and from a place of solid readiness.”

“ANDE’s catalyst and challenge funds help organizations address challenges in the

SGB sector, in this case bridging the gender finance gap for women-led climate enterprises. We look forward to sharing key project insights with the sector and enhancing our collective support to African women climate entrepreneurs.” says Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director of ANDE.

“Gender lens investing is a priority focus area for Impact Amplifier’s work. For us, this means not only focusing on investing in women, who own climate-focused ventures but equally targeting ventures that have catalytic climate-resilient products and services which impact low income, vulnerable women in Africa. Focusing on this dual gender lens strategy means our societies, economies and future generations are protected.” comments Maximilian Pichulik, co-founder of Impact Amplifier.”

 

 

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