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
I had the pleasure of speaking on one of the panels at the Youths in Business Forum for 2023. The theme for this year’s forum was Prepare for funding. On the panel I shared some of the tips that helped me successfully raise a $20 million oversubscribed fund from a mix of local and international private and institutional investors alongside great speakers from across various industries- Dr. Ola Brown, Founder Flying Doctors Will Stevens, Consul General to the United States, Fehintolu Olaogun, CEO CredPal, Oyin Solebo, MD ARM Techstars Lab and Segun Cole, CEO Fund the Gap.
It was an honour to be invited for an interview with Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund, where I discussed my bold ambitions for Aruwa Capital to not just be focused on Nigeria and Ghana but to become a pan-African fund impacting women and creating jobs in multiple African countries.
I am pleased to announce our 7th investment from Fund I. Aruwa Capital made a solely funded $2.5 million investment into Taeillo- an innovative, tech-enabled local manufacturer of mass market and premium Afrocentric furniture founded in 2018. Taeillo’s impressive founder Jumoke Dada is a solo female founder who has grown revenues by 12x since inception with very little external capital. We are glad to back African female founders and change the narrative for innovative female founders building on the continent who were only able to attract 1% of VC funding last year.
It was with overwhelming gratitude I announced the closing of Aruwa Capital’s first fund and also that I made history as the first female solo GP to raise an institutional first fund over $10 million in Nigeria. Aruwa was launched in October 2019, when I was 29 years old and heavily pregnant with my son. In that same year we completed our first investment despite COVID restrictions. We received a $4 million anchor investment from Visa Foundation, we also received investment from Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund and FSD Africa Nyala Venture Facility, being the first investment by both of those initiatives respectively. Aruwa has an oversubscribed first fund raising more than our $20 million target. To date, the Fund has made six investments, committing over 45% of its capital into a diversified portfolio across critical and essential sectors.
I am honoured to be recognized as a Woman Giant in Africa by Engage Empower Educate Initiative, a platform that is empowering women and girls across Africa to live and be their best.
It was an honour to be featured on Empower Africa as an African Changemaker and recognized as a contributor to women’s empowerment and commitment to gender equality in private equity.
It was a great pleasure to attend the YPO Edge premier annual gathering. YPO hosts the world’s largest global leadership community of more than 32,000 chief executives, this year’s event which was held in New York is the first physical meeting since the year 2019. It was a pleasure to listen to the world-class array of speakers including Ray Dalio, Founder Bridgewater Associates. Eileen Gu, Freestyle Skier. Larry summers, President Emeritus Harvard University, Zhang Yiming, Founder TikTok. Scott Gallaway, Clinical Professor of Marketing, New York University. Stephen Colbert, Director RMR Group and Maria Ressa, CEO & Executive Editor Rappler.
It was an honour to be recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 Black women in Asset Management award in the Alternative Investment segment. The BWAM 40 Under 40 List recognises inspiring and innovative professionals under the age of 40 who have shown leadership and demonstrated strong achievements in their careers.
It was a great pleasure to herald the expansion of 100 Women in Finance global locations to Nigeria alongside the 100WF Nigeria working group- Nieros Oyegun Soerensen, Partner and COO Verod Capital, Tariye Gbadegesin, MD/CEO ARM Harith Infrastructure Fund Managers (ARMIF) and Taiwo Okwor Vice President African Finance Corporation (AFC). The Nigeria location marks the 32nd location for 100WF and the third in Africa. Click here to get updates on 100WF Nigeria.
It was an honour to be listed as one of the ten women running multimillion-dollar businesses in male-dominated industries in Nigeria by Ventures Africa.
"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