Womvest ("women investing in women") is a network of women in the investment ecosystem creating shared value for one another through collaboration and mentorship. A year since the network's inception, Womvest celebrates the launch of Womvest Ventures, its sister investment vehicle that seeks to provide purpose-driven and flexible finance for women-owned and led businesses in South Africa.
As its debut investment opportunity, Womvest Ventures has partnered with Secha Capital ("Secha"), a South African-based private equity impact fund, in launching the Womvest Ventures Impact-Linked Loan Facility.
This facility provides short-term and impact-linked finance to women-led small and growing businesses (“SGBs”) within Secha’s portfolio that are struggling to access working capital finance at affordable rates and on appropriate terms. The instrument's impact-linked mechanism rewards the SGB for on-time repayment (as opposed to penalties) and financially incentivises the achievement of pre-determined social impact milestones.
"How investment capital is structured directly affects behaviours and outcomes: It can reinforce existing negative behaviours or incentivise positive behaviours for all stakeholders. This facility has been designed to provide impact-linked capital that works for the women it supports whilst delivering a competitive financial return to investors." Maya Burney, Founder of Womvest.
Brendan Mullen, Managing Director Secha Capital, adds, "At Secha, we embrace new ways to support our portfolio companies along their growth journey. We have seen first-hand the struggle in accessing affordable short-term capital for SGBs. This facility directly addresses a gap in the market whilst embedding specific impact outcomes."
In the true spirit of women investing in women, the Womvest Ventures Impact-Linked Loan Facility has been seeded by a group of women investors in the Womvest network. These women are passionate about supporting women-led businesses and believe in the ability for appropriately-structured investment to achieve impact whilst delivering a market-related financial return.
Both Womvest Ventures and Secha Capital form part of Caleo Collective, diversified financial services and investment group. Garth Wellman, Co-CEO Caleo Collective, reinforces the importance of impact investing as part of Caleo's ethos, "As capital allocators and investment professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure our capital is structured in a way that serves each entrepreneur, has a net positive contribution to society, and maximises investor value. At Caleo, we take this responsibility very seriously and partner with impact entrepreneurs, conscious investors, and experienced investment professionals to ensure we remain steadfast in our approach."
At a time when the world needs change-makers, women remain underrepresented in the investment ecosystem and underinvested in as entrepreneurs. Womvest seeks to contribute to shifting this reality and support entrepreneurs and professionals alike in achieving their full potential.
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