Introducing Superpower Women

Dr. Sam Duby

Friday, August 4, 2023

Superpower Africa Fund and its ability to make hyper-precise, impactful investments epitomises what our clients are looking for. As a wealth management company for women, by women, we understand that women think differently about money. Understanding the impact of their investments is key and the ability of this Fund to specifically target female focused companies and the subsequent impact this has on the surrounding communities, is not only extraordinary but highly sought after from an impact investing perspective. We have no doubt that the promise of a transparent, end-to-end female focused investment option will be of great interest to clients. Leading Wealth Management Group

We are thrilled about the innovative concept emerging from Superpower Africa Fund, Proof and 60 Decibels. As a company deeply rooted to impact investment, the precision with which we can direct funds into high-impact, traceable assets is truly transformative. Using this facility, not only can we shine a spotlight on companies championing women - an enormous feat in itself - but also provide our tech-savvy, impact-oriented audience with a comprehensive data set, serving as the ultimate cherry on top. Pyrpose


Superpower Women, is a collaboration between TFE’s Superpower Africa Fund (SAF), 60 Decibels, and Proof. This initiative aims to drive gender transformation within the Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE), cleantech and regenerative business sectors in Africa. The consortium brings together a wealth of experience and expertise in energy access, impact measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV), and financial innovation, creating a unique blend of capabilities.

SAF is designed as a working capital bridge and a link between investors and small but growing African businesses. Because of the affordability gap in Africa many of these businesses operate with PayGo or as-a-service business models. This opens the market for them and is great for end-users, but is tough on their cash flow. We solve this problem by analysing their customer payments data and sizing a working capital loan based on their projected receivables. Put another way, this allows them to convert their most valuable asset (their rights to future payments) into cash immediately rather than over the life-time of the ‘assets’ without the burden of a requirement for collateral.


The mission of the Superpower Women initiative is to establish a gender-smart "Superpower Women (SW)" facility within the Superpower Africa Fund (SAF). The data backbone of SAF allows for the hyper-precise targeting of capital looking for specific impact. We want to demonstrate that:

  • A pipeline of high impact, woman focused companies can be identified, risk assessed and offered an affordable working capital loan, ready for disbursal in less than 30 days;

  • There is an appetite, amongst the investor community, for high impact, transparent, traceable gender focused investments into growing African companies;

  • Investments into female focused companies outperform other investments;

  • Financial incentives can be leveraged to promote a shift in outdated and unhelpful

  • perceptions of and bias against women in nascent industries.

The primary objective of Superpower Women is to digitise, integrate, enhance, and localise the 2X Challenge Gender methodology for incorporation into SAF and similar digital impact MRV or investment platforms. The ultimate goal is to create a specialised facility within SAF that promotes a transformation in traditional gender dynamics by blending in concessionary capital to DRE businesses based on the level of women's ownership, leadership, employment, and beneficiaries - rooted in a belief that this will not only serve the businesses, but also offer investors and Africa herself a disproportionate benefit. The digital back-bone of the SAF will facilitate a transparent, quantitative, and hyper precise allocation of concessional capital, with the explicit aim maximising gender transformation and minimising the level of concessionality.

Investment Strategy

The consortium investment strategy is to assess its healthy, existing pipeline of women led and locally owned businesses with the aim of identifying and financing the most gender progressive companies. The loans to these businesses will be subsidised through the blending in of philanthropic crowdfunding from gender smart partners such as Pyrpose. Overtime, the consortium believes the subsidised lending rates and its standardised, digital reporting will promote a shift in outdated and unhelpful perceptions of and bias against women within the DRE sector. The Fund’s gender assessment will be driven by a discrete, digital 2X API module developed by the Proof and SAF for standardised use across the growing receivables finance sector. The development of a digital, standardised and industry accepted API will help expand the gender bias transformation across the receivables finance sector at large. Investors within the consortium’s network including Pyrpose and a leading gender focused wealth management company have expressed interest in the standardised methodology and gender smart assets and demonstrate that there is a significant demand for gender focused investment.

Far reaching Impact

Philanthropic crowdfunding from gender-smart partners such as Pyrpose can be used to further de-risk investments and catalyse the flow of commercial finance, or subsidise loans directly. Over time, the consortium believes that these subsidised lending rates and standardised digital reporting will incentivize gender transformation within the DRE sector.


The consortium is uniquely positioned to deliver the Superpower Women facility. 60 Decibels has conducted in-depth social impact studies on 33 selected DRE businesses, forming the core of the SW pipeline. TFE was awarded an innovation grant from KfW, leading to the development of SAF's cutting-edge machine learning-driven revenue forecasting technology. As of October 2023, the Superpower Africa Fund has a pipeline of 217 leads, 23 active deals worth an estimated $10 million USD.

Proof has digitised the 2X Challenge methodology, making it readily available to SAF's revenue forecasting technology. The consortium is well-prepared for the development work required to enhance and localise the 2X methodology, create seamless API integration between Proof and SAF, conduct pilot transactions, and test the product's demand from investors and foundations.

Gender and Climate Finance Nexus

Superpower Women will adapt the 2X Challenge methodology for integration into SAF. SAF's machine learning assessment will allow for precise targeting of women-owned investments at the individual company or even end-user level. By developing a specialised facility for subsidising loans based on gender criteria, the consortium will drive gender transformation within the DRE sector. This approach can serve as a model for other climate finance initiatives to include traceable and accountable gender and climate impact.

Barriers Addressed

This project addresses barriers across the climate finance value chain by providing precision and accountability in gender-focused investments. It enables the targeting of finance to women-owned and run businesses, promoting women's economic empowerment, and incentivizing gendertransformation. The creation of a digitised gender impact reporting protocol breaks down barriers to the disbursement of gender-conscious capital.

Funding Request

The consortium seeks a grant of $288,300, with $188,300 allocated for activities within the consortium's organisations. A further $100,000 will be directed to a select number (1-3) of women-led / focused businesses in the pipeline that demonstrate potential for graduating into the Superpower Women facility.

Additional Private Sector Capital

The consortium plans to undertake an investor roadshow to showcase its findings and attract impact investors and philanthropic foundations. They aim to raise an additional $6 million in capital.

Organisational and Staffing Structure

The consortium combines the expertise of TFE's Superpower Africa Fund, 60 Decibels, and Proof. Key staff members include Kat Harrison, Dr. Sam Duby, and Fleur Heyns, supported by a team of professionals with extensive experience in impact measurement, energy access, and gender-focused projects.

Summary and next steps

Superpower Women seeks to bridge the gender funding gap in Africa, catalysing the growth of women-led and women-serving businesses while benefiting the broader community. This transformative model, once proven, can be extended to carbon mitigation finance, unlocking further capital for renewable energy. The consortium is uniquely positioned to carry out this initiative, aiming to make a lasting impact on gender transformation and climate finance.

For further information and discussion please contact Dr Sam Duby:

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Dr. Sam Duby

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