#71, Tokunboh Ishmael – Investing for profit and purpose

My guest today is Tokunbo Ishmael. She’s the co-founder and Managing Director of Alitheia Capital, an African focussed PE and VC firm. Alitheia Capital investments include businesses that enable the provision of financial services to the unbanked, and underbanked through traditional and branchless banking models. Alitheia Capital focuses on doing social good and also having a good return on investment.

Tokunbo Ishmael is an alumnus of London Business School, and the University of London, she’s a chartered financial analyst, and she used to be an investment banker before starting Alethia. She’s a member of CFA Institute, she has sat on several boards in the different organization across Africa, including First City Monument Bank in Nigeria, and the African Venture Capital Association.

In this episode we discussed…

  • Why Alethea capital is both PE and Venture capital
  • The necessity for developing the ability to reason and present a sustainable argument on the basis of numbers
  • Parallels between early 2000s dotcom burst and the disruptive impact of COVID on startup investing
  • Key success factors for surviving as an entrepreneur during unpredictable times
    • be grounded on core mission but flexible to make opportunities out of the current challenge
    • rethink the value you’re bringing to the table
    • understand their existing developmental gaps and where to collaborate to fill up the deficiencies
    • amplify their powers and use that to innovate and re-imagine themselves
  • On discovering the riches at the bottom of the pyramid by building essential goods and services for the mass markets
  • Why entrepreneurs should expand their view to stakeholder value creation and not just profit


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Episode 71