This four-part case series documents the incredible journey from 1994 to 2005 of one of the most original black economic empowerment (BEE) vehicles in post-apartheid South Africa, the Women Investment Portfolio Holding, or WIPHOLD. WIPHOLD raised its money from disenfranchised black women in the townships to invest in mainstream economic activities. From boutique investment fund, it quickly established itself as one of the key drivers of economic empowerment and one of the movers and shakers in the South African financial services community. The A-case relates how, between 1994 and 1997, the founders, four dynamic and successful black business women, took their bold vision of black economic empowerment to grassroots women in South Africa. The “WIP Four” raised money, struck their first deals, gained the women’s buy-in, chose an all-women (but mixed race) board and structured the women-only IPO. But the target was ambitious, to raise R40 million from numerous women who were just being introduced to the concept of investment, contributing as little as R600 each (for 200 shares) for their stake. Would they succeed?
Women Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited, Finance and Insurance, Financial Services
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