Alitheia IDF launches applications for Nzinga Scale-Up Bootcamp for African businesses


The Nzinga Scale-Up Bootcamp is an opportunity for growth-ready SMEs to be equipped with the technical capacity and funding needed to scale and expand their businesses. 

Sponsored by Alitheia IDF, a pioneering private equity fund that identifies, invests in and grows SMEs led by gender-diverse teams to achieve superior financial returns and social impact, the Nzinga Scale-Up Bootcamp is now open for applications. Eligible applicants must run growth-stage businesses operating in Ghana, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia or Zimbabwe that have significant economic participation of women as entrepreneurs, processors, distributors or consumers of an essential good or service. The Bootcamp is open to applications from all sectors, but is particularly interested in agribusiness, consumer goods, health, education, and financial services. 

With offices in Johannesburg and Lagos, Alitheia IDF is the only private equity fund manager in Africa with a proactive gender smart strategy to fund female founders and co-founders with innovative and scalable businesses in attractive industries and markets. Led by ‘Tokunboh Ishmael and Polo Leteka with combined experience of over 40 years in private equity, investment banking, and SME financing across multiple sectors, the Alitheia IDF team has a track record of identifying, investing and exiting African businesses in overlooked markets that have significant economic and social potential. 

According to the Women Matter- Africa study published by McKinsey, organisations with a greater share of women on their executive committees and boards “tend to have a higher operating margin, return on equity and total return to shareholders.” With a history of backing women-led or inspired success stories, Alitheia IDF continues to invest in gender diverse SMEs and aims to impact up to 5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, while addressing the gap in funding for women led businesses and increasing the economic potential of women. 

‘Tokunboh Ishmael, Principal Partner, remarked: “We are very excited about this initiative because it provides us with the opportunity to positively impact women by not only providing access to capital, but through the Bootcamp, we’re also enhancing their capacity to properly absorb institutional capital for scale and expansion.”

The Bootcamp is a six-week series of online and in-person collaborative workshops that will address critical success factors including financial structuring, corporate governance, leadership and management, route-to-market and growth strategy, and fundraising that position businesses to better attract and readily utilize institutional equity investment needed for expansion.

To be eligible for the Nzinga Scale-Up Bootcamp, companies must be operating in Ghana, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia or Zimbabwe and must have significant participation of women as entrepreneurs, managers, producers, distributors or consumers. Additionally, interested companies must have a sound performance track record of at least two years and must be generating consistent and growing revenue.

Submitting the application is the first step in the application process, after which the screened applicants will be invited for an interview. Following the interviews, qualified applicants will be invited to join the Nzinga Scale-Up Bootcamp, and candidates who successfully complete the Bootcamp may receive up to US$3 million in fund investment. 

Interested companies can apply using the “Apply Now” link on or through VC4A at The deadline for application is Sunday, August 4.  For more information, kindly visit or email [email protected].


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