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The African Women Impact Fund Initiative (AWIF)

Supporting the growth and development of female Fund Managers

The African Women Impact Fund (AWIF) Initiative was set up to contribute to greater Women Economic Empowerment in Africa.

About the african women leadership fund initiative

The AWIF is a gender lens investing Initiative that supports the growth and development of female fund managers. The Initiative has a two-fold agenda of making a commercial impact for investors while empowering women financial leaders to drive growth in Africa. The AWIF is a first-of-its-kind initiative which aims to overcome the systemic barriers and investor biases in the asset management industry, by enabling and promoting women-owned and women-led funds on the African continent. The vision to raise Africa’s financial output cannot be realised without the economic empowerment of women.

The AWIF is an initiative of the UN Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) together with its partners: UN Women, the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, and the African Women Leadership Network.  It was established in collaboration with the Standard Bank Group as lead sponsor, MiDA Advisors as key strategic advisor, and RisCura as the investment manager and provider of manager development and support services.

AWLFI ContentCard
What does the Initiative aim to achieve?

The AWIF  Initiative’s aims to address the fundamental gap in female managers’ access to the private and public investments ecosystem and strengthen the economic empowerment of women on the continent. Through an ecosystem that will ensure that women fund managers thrive through investment opportunities, fundraising acceleration, technical training, as well as capacity building, the initiative is well positioned to enable economic stimulus through sustainable and gender-inclusive capital growth opportunities.

  • Mission: To accelerate the inclusion of African female asset managers through the promotion of UN SDG 5 (Gender equality) and 8 (Decent work & Economic growth), and the AU Agenda 2063.
  • Reach: Across all five regions
  • Target asset class: Listed and private markets across asset classes including listed equities, fixed interest instruments across the duration spectrum, property, private equity, and private debt
  • Target sectors: Sector-agnostic but preference for high impact sectors such as manufacturing, education, healthcare, clean energy, and agriculture.
Who can invest/support the Initiative?
  • Non-Commercial Investors
    • Looking to support incubation and upskilling of women fund managers
  • Commercial investors
    • Looking to invest in African listed or private markets investment
    • Investors who offer patient capital
What are the application criteria?
  1. Applicants must be female.
  2. Applicants must reside in Africa.
  3. Applicants must have proven asset-management experience.
  4. Applicants will be subject to extensive operational and investment due-diligence processes.
Who are the collaborators?
About the Foundation
The AWIF Foundation was created to support the objectives of the AWIF Initiative. The African Women Impact Fund Foundation, will secure donations from international donors, and will provide support to the AWIF initiative by providing capital, operational support through a structured development programme. The foundation was established in Jersey on 1 December 2020 by Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company Jersey Limited (“SBOTCJL”) for the Standard Bank Group.

About the AWIF Fund Series

The AWIF Fund series seeks to develop female asset management talent across the continent by allocating capital and supporting emerging managers. Through the female fund managers, it will make investments that have a positive impact and measurable social and environmental benefits, that will also earn market-related, risk-adjusted returns.

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