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Investment fund eyes Tanzanian women traders

Wednesday April 28 2021
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By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. A regional investment fund is now planning to expand to Tanzania as it seeks to reach more female entrepreneurs in southern Africa.

Enygma Ventures, which invests in women entrepreneurs, was established by two successful women entrepreneurs who now invest in women entrepreneurs in southern Africa.

“We are industry agnostic, which means we invest in any sector where women are thriving. We are passionate about driving progressive change on the African continent,” said Ms Lelemba Phiri, Enygma Ventures’ operating partner in a statement.

The fund which was born in October 2019, invested $3.5 million in 10 businesses in South Africa, Zambia and Eswatini, making them one of Africa’s most active investors for 2020.

This year, it aims to invest in even more women with a target on key Sadc markets such as Malawi and Tanzania.

“With just a fraction of global venture funds being deployed across the continent, Africa is an extraordinary opportunity. We established Enygma because we wanted to tackle inequality through three lenses – gender, race and geography. Thus investing diversely, not only from a gender perspective but also a race and geography perspective, was important to us,” said Sarah Dusek, co-founder and managing partner of the fund.

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The fund wants to widen network this year as its mandate covers all 16 countries in the Sadc region.

The fund said Tanzania and Malawi have in the past recorded fewer venture capital investments but have exciting opportunities.

The fund runs calls for applications for investment three times a year.

Shortlisted entrepreneurs are supported through investor readiness programmes and others that might not be ready are given scholarships to programmes run by Africa’s practical business school.

The programmes give them the right knowledge about what is required for an investor to be interested in their businesses.

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