A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence
Adesuwa Rhodes is changing the face of investing and entrepreneurship in Africa one investment at a time
Adesuwa is a leading investment professional and CEO with over 14 years of experience in investment banking and private equity in developed and emerging markets across a number of sectors including healthcare, financial services, technology and consumer goods. Adesuwa is an entrepreneur, CEO, mother, investor and women’s empowerment advocate. She is one of the youngest female private equity fund managers running her own fund in Africa, having launched her fund at 29 years old. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital Management, one of the few women owned and led private equity funds in Africa investing into untapped investment opportunities in West Africa in the small to lower mid-market. Adesuwa is focused on using Aruwa Capital Management’s investments as a case study to make the business case to invest in women as fund managers, entrepreneurs, consumers and stakeholders in society. Adesuwa is a mission driven pioneer on a mission to unlock the power of private capital as a catalyst for change in her environment.Learn More
"I am on a mission to unlock the untapped potential of women as capital allocators, consumers, founders, board members, suppliers and across all levels of society, to unlock enhanced financial returns and positive social impact."
~ Adesuwa Rhodes
Following the week-long activities of the formal launch of the 100 Women in Finance Nigeria, we visited the Nigerian Exchange Group- NGX (formerly the Nigerian Stock Exchange) on Thursday 27th April. Amanda Pullinger, CEO, 100 Women in Finance alongside members of the 100WF Nigeria Committee met with key executives of the NGX to discuss their respective organisation’s missions and goals, as well as potential areas for collaboration. The highlight of the event was the striking of the closing gong by the 100WF team on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange to signify the end of stock trading for the day. We are thankful to all our hosts, sponsors, and partners for making our line-up of events a success. It is good to see great support from the media and organizations that are in alignment with the 100WF mission to promote the professional advancement of women in finance in Nigeria.
I had the pleasure of joining Saccoh Sidi and Esta Richard Etim on the 21st episode of The Pitch Room Africa as a guest speaker. The Pitch Room Africa is a Twitter space event that connects VCs, Angel Investors, Entrepreneurs, and Industry Experts together in meaningful and engaging conversations. I spoke on the topic- The Challenges of Gender Lens investing in Africa and shared practical tips on how female-led businesses can raise funds, and how Aruwa Capital is driving a change through our gender lens investment strategy.
I am pleased to have been a part of the formal launch of the 100 Women in Finance Nigeria location and also a member of the Founding Committee of 100WF Nigeria. Following the successful pre-launch events we organised last year; I am so proud that we were able to convince the global 100WF board to choose Nigeria as the 32nd location globally and 3rd African location. We held a celebratory dinner in Lagos to mark the launch, and it was graced by senior leaders within the Nigerian financial services sector. Amanda Pullinger, the Chief Executive Officer of 100 Women in Finance and Mrs Sola David-Borha, the former CEO, Africa Regions, Standard Bank Group gave the keynote addresses for the event. 100WF is set to deepen it’s reach to finance professionals across the banking, private equity, venture capital, and FinTech sectors, among others, in Africa. Their global network and programs will build a more diverse and gender-equitable finance industry in Nigeria by promoting diversity of thought, raising visibility, and empowering women to find their personal path to career success.
I had the pleasure of speaking at the second edition of the Open for Business Conference hosted by Ecclesia Hills. The conference was themed - Planting in the Land. I spoke on Entrepreneurship - how to raise capital and scale businesses. I shared practical tips on what investors look out for when businesses are raising capital, and discussed the importance of Faith and the possibility of building profitable businesses in Nigeria despite the harsh realities we face. It was great to be a part of an amazing line up of speakers - Dr Ola Brown, Founder Flying Doctors Healthcare, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria on Ease of doing Business and Pastor Ayo Otulayo CEO Prime Atlantic Group.
I had the honour of speaking at the Uncommon Woman Conference hosted by Jesus House themed - Abound: Living in His love. The event which held in London was the first In-person gathering post Covid-19 pandemic. I shared practical tips on women empowerment and also how my journey and achievements were centered around my faith in God. I also had an intimate session with the Young Esthers between the ages of 18-30 tagged - A letter to my young self which covered deep and meaningful conversations on relationship, career, and faith.
It was an honour to be celebrated by Empower Africa as one of the 50 impactful women who are driving change and advancing sustainable economic development throughout the continent.
It was an honour to be celebrated as one of the 8 remarkable Nigerian women who are making a difference and breaking barriers both locally and globally in their respective fields. I am also honoured to be recognized for paving the way for future generations of women to follow in their footsteps and are also showing the world the power and potential of Nigerian women.
I was honoured to be recognized by Tech PR’s IWD publication as one of the 8 leading women promoting gender equity in the African tech ecosystem and listed as one of the female VCs that have been instrumental in driving the progress of technology in Africa through my fund Aruwa Capital.
It was great to be one of the speakers on the LinkedIn live session hosted by Leah Solivan of YPO Presents Ask the Experts on International Women’s Day. The topic of discussion was Equity and Funding for Women Entrepreneurs, and we discussed the impact of underfunding women-led businesses and how equity can be prioritized in organizations. It was a pleasure to speak alongside another impactful female founder - Liza Rodewald, Founder and CEO Instant Teams.
It was an honour to be named by Leading Ladies Africa as one of the 100 most inspiring women for 2023. This edition highlighted the impact and achievements of Nigerian Female Entrepreneurs in Africa, showcasing the impact we are making on the continent.
"I believe the way to effectively provide women with more seats at the table is for us to create our own tables. More women succeeding as capital allocators means more women getting funded, more mentors, more torch-bearers, and more examples to follow. Investing in or with funds like Aruwa Capital Management is a practical way to narrow the gender funding gap and making money while you do so."
- Adesuwa Rhodes
Adesuwa is the Founder & Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital Management an early stage private equity fund investing in rapidly growing businesses in West Africa. With Aruwa Capital and her own personal investments, Adesuwa is focused on uncovering untapped investment opportunities that are typically overlooked and underserved. Adesuwa is passionate about showcasing the natural competitive advantage women allocating capital have when investing in businesses for women and by women. Through a gender lens investment strategy, Adesuwa is focused on generating enhanced financial returns whilst delivering positive social impact with a multiplier effect across societies and economies.Learn More