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Enygma Ventures announces names of first 11 women entrepreneurs it will fund


US venture capital (VC) fund Enygma Ventures today announced the names of the 11 female entrepreneurs selected for its investor-ready programme.

The 11 were selected from 900 applicants across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region for the R100-million VC fund’s first cohort, which kicked off last Friday (24 January).

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The programme will run for three to six-months (the length of the programme will be dependent on when each entrepreneur is ready for funding, says the VC).

All our entrepreneurs who have been selected could receive investment, the VC told Ventureburn today.

Enygma Ventures selected the 11 female entrepreneurs from a pool of 900 applicants across the SADC region

“Funds will be released as soon as the entrepreneurs are ready for investment. We hope they all achieve funded status as soon as possible,” the VC said in an email.

The 11 — who hail from South Africa, Angola, Zambia, Swaziland and Rwanda — convened in Cape Town earlier this month where they were introduced to the programme and participated in a series of rigorous strategy development sessions.

The announcement follows the launch of the fund in October (see this story). The fund will invest up to R10-million in women led startups from the SADC  region.

In a statement today Enygma Ventures co-founder and general partner, Sarah Dusek said the fund is “eager to demonstrate that women-owned businesses in Africa are extremely investable”.

The 11 female entrepreneurs are:

Savanna Premium Chocolate: Chiinga and Lynn Musonda (Zambia)
Black Mamba: Claudia Castellanos (Swaziland)
MsLondon Cosmetics: Ego Iwegbu (South Africa)
Educartis: Farah Mulji (Angola)
Lupiya: Evelyn Kaingu (Zambia)
Waka Global: Jeannetta Craigwell-Graham (Rwanda)
WidEnergy Africa: Liliane Munezero Ndabaneze (Zambia)
Playsense: Megan Faure (South Africa)
Spoon Money: Nicky Swartz  (South Africa)
Oh Baby Co: Amy Putman (South Africa)
The Throne Agency: Caron Williams (South Africa)

Read more: US duo launch R100m VC fund to invest in women-led startups in Southern Africa

*Correction: Enygma Ventures had stated in an earlier article by Ventureburn that participants will be able to access up to R2-million in funding from the venture capital (VC) fund. The VC fund has now pointed out to Ventureburn that the figure is in fact R10-million. This has been corrected in the article.

Featured image: Enygma Ventures representatives and the 11 women from the VC’s first cohort. They are (back row, left to right: Claudia Castellanos (Black Mamba), Muchu Kaingu (Lupiya), Enygma Ventures Co-founder and General Partner Sarah Dusek, Enygma Ventures Co-founder Jacob Dusek, Amy Putman (OhBabyCo), Nicky Swartz (Spoon Money), Liliane Munezero Ndabaneze (WidEnergy Africa), Caron Williams (The Throne Agency), Ego Iwegbu (MsLondon Cosmetics), Africa Trust Group Co-founder Sandras Phiri (front row seated, left to right): Melissa Cummings (PlaySense), Lara Schoenfeld (PlaySense), Megan Faure (PlaySense), Enygma Ventures Operating Fund Manager Lelemba Phiri, Jeannetta Craigwell-Williams (Waka Global)

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