The Marula Tree (sclerocarya birrea) is a tree indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa and for us symbolises the growth of the Sub-Saharan African continent. We aim to catalyse Africa's immense potential by investing in sustainable enterprises that leverage the continent's dynamic population growth and entrepreneurial drive.
We are dedicated to driving positive change, generating financial returns and empowering local communities. Specifically, we are investing in visionary entrepreneurs in education technology, quality healthcare, and agricultural productivity in Africa.
With the sincerest respect for local cultures and ways of working, we enter into partnerships with high-potential Sub-Saharan African entrepreneurs, as well as incubators and accelerators that connect us to such entrepreneurs. On the other side, we are building a network of experienced investors with the right attitude and values, to unlock mind-opening and exciting opportunities for them. On 31 January 2023, the 1st closing of our first investment fund took place. We are now actively looking for investment opportunities that fit the below-mentioned criteria.
The kind of ventures we are looking for
The purpose of the enterprise is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2,3 and/or 4
The business idea has growth potential and addresses a genuine problem
The top management team consists of at least two people culturally Sub-Saharan African
The business is active in education-technology, private healthcare and/or agri-processing
Operations predominantly in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and/or Ghana
The team is gender diverse and/or has clear targets in this regard
I am an entrepreneur
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I am an investor
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Solving legacy inefficiencies in Africa's agricultural supply chain, providing crop processing, financial services, and critical micro-insurance products to farmers via an integrated delivery model in Nigeria.
Experienced corporate lawyer, board advisor and start-up mentor. Knowledgeable on corporate governance, corporate litigation, and impact investing in Africa. Acted as a startup mentor at the Entrepreneurship World Cup, the Oxford Social Entrepreneurship Programme and the Africa Innovation Fellowship. Fluent in Dutch, English and French. LL.M. (Hons) from the University of Amsterdam, and SBS Oxford EMBA graduate.
Nontya Mtshaulana - Board Member
Financial services professional with experience in risk management, audit, accounting, M&A and ALM/Treasury obtained across Africa, Europe and the US. Currently responsible for bank-wide implementation of Sustainable Finance (ESG) Regulations at ABN AMRO. Fluent in Dutch and English, and basic proficiency of Xhosa. Chartered Accountant; CFA charterholder; Executive Masters in M&A and Valuations graduate from University of Groningen / Duisenberg institute; and SBS Oxford EMBA graduate.
Xueming Zhao - Board Member
Bank executive and Treasurer. Currently serving as Senior Vice President and Treasurer at a Canadian bank heading up the functions of capital market, liquidity, alternative funding, capital management, ALM, and balance sheet strategy. Also serves as the chair of the pension committee. Expertise in derivatives and fixed income, pension, and strategy. Work experience in the US, Canada, and China. SBS Oxford EMBA graduate.
Michael Delefes - Board Member
Over 14 years of experience in banking and asset management. Specializing in alternative investment strategies ranging from public to private equity. Michael has worked all over the world spending a great deal of time in South East Asia, China and the Middle East. Most recently Michael worked for CastleMill Equity Partners focusing on UK small and medium cap buyouts. SBS Oxford EMBA graduate.
Abi Mustapha-Maduakor - Board Member
Executive with over 17 years' experience in leadership roles, financial management and structured products in emerging markets and the UK. Deep private capital in Africa industry expertise. Previous Special Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, responsible for policy programmes to spur private sector investment and SME growth. Experienced Board and committee member for various commercial and non-profit organisations in UK and Nigeria. Masters in Chemical Engineering, Chartered Accountant and SBS Oxford EMBA graduate.
Jon Almond - Chair of the Investment Committee
Fintech entrepreneur. Previous mining industry executive with over 15 years experience in leadership roles primarily supporting teams through complex cultural and technical transformation in Africa, Middle East and Australia. Experienced in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, contracting, operations, corporate turnaround, financial modelling and government relations. SBS Oxford EMBA graduate.
Suad Fakih - Chair of the Venture Success Committee
Suad Fakih brings over 15 years of hands-on experience in corporate and venture capital fields, coupled with a stint as a small business owner culminating in a successful exit. She excels in managing relationships, raising funds, refining business models, and executing operations across diverse global markets. Suad holds an Executive MBA from the University of Oxford and is proficient in English, French, and Spanish, enhancing her ability to connect with stakeholders worldwide.
Jada Badu - Country Ambassador Ghana
Seasoned legal professional with experience in commercial dispute resolution at the Bar, private practice, and more recently, legal and compliance for Fortune 10 companies. Jada excels in building relationships and leading complex negotiations to create partnerships and drive strategic initiatives. She is passionate about connecting capital with transformative ideas in Africa. A recent SBS Oxford EMBA graduate and alumnus of both the University of Cambridge and University of London.
Experienced legal practicioner at the Bar, in private practice, and in house. Over the course of my employment I dabbled in data analytics, strategic procurement, account management, regulatory compliance, and talent acquisition. It was while undertaking this role that it dawned on me that while my background and experience are in law, my passion lies in building things from scratch and creating structures/processes in the midst of chaos. To this end, I embarked on the SBS Oxford EMBA in January 2022 to better understand the theoretical underpinnings of business.
James Maduekeh - Country Ambassador Nigeria
Development banker with nearly 20 years of experience, specialising in treasury solutions for African infrastructure. I presently lead the treasury client solutions business at a top African infrastructure solutions provider, with speciality in derivatives, structured finance, foreign exchange, fixed income, and balance sheet optimisation. Also, I am a trusted advisor to African central banks and a former Vice Chairman at FMDA Nigeria. In these roles I strive to profoundly influence financial and sustainable development across the continent. Finally, I hold advisory positions with various African startups and possesses an MEng (Bachelor and Masters) in Chemical Engineering from UCL and an SBS Oxford EMBA.
Mind Mabhunu - Country Ambassador South Africa
Over 15 years of banking and financial services experience. Currently, I am the head of one of the business units in Personal and Private Banking Coverage at Standard Bank South Africa where I have strategy, income statement, budget, and operations responsibilities. Former management consultant at McKinsey and Company with experience in problem-solving, shaping strategies and strengthening operations. I have an established track record in operations optimisation, product ownership, delivering new/incremental revenue and implementing go to market strategy. I hold a Master of Finance from Rhodes University and SBS Oxford Executive MBA. I am an African who is passionate about transforming the African continent.