$6.8m Enygma Ventures fund will back SADC female entrepreneurs with $135k ticket sizes

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A new ZAR100 million (US$6.8 million) fund – Enygma Ventures – has launched with a focus on investing in women entrepreneurs in the SADC region.

The US-based Enygma Ventures has been founded by award winning entrepreneurs Sarah and Jacob Dusek and is aimed at empowering, mentoring, and capitalising outstanding female entrepreneurs in Southern Africa.

With an initial size of ZAR100 million, the fund hopes to close the funding gap for women in the region, and has a wide sector focus. Applications for the first cohort are open until December 1, after which 10 entrepreneurs will be accepted for a six-month investor readiness programme that will kick off in January 2020. Investments will be made within those six months, with ticket sizes in the range of ZAR2 million (US$135,000) range. There will be two cohorts per year.

“I know how difficult it can be for women to think big because we have had so few role models to follow. I also understand the unique struggles and challenges of building a big business, having been a founder and CEO myself. We want to help women think big. We will create flexible financial solutions for them with efficient and strategic deployment of capital whilst also providing helpful tailored support,” said Sarah Dusek.

The Duseks are working in conjunction with local partner Lelemba Phiri at the Africa Trust Group, which will run the investment readiness programme. She said she was excited about the strategic partnership.

“It validates the enormous potential of female entrepreneurs in the region and the opportunities that exist to invest in them,” she said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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