Slide FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN Transforming South Africa’s business and social landscape through the development and empowerment of women Slide CATALYSTS OF REFORM “WDB Investment Holdings has proved to be an enormous success story all on its own. Not only does WDBIH allow the WDB Trust to be self-sustaining, it has built up an investment portfolio with total assets under management of R6 billion and has paid cumulative dividends to the Trust of over R200 million” – Mrs Zanele Mbeki Slide WDB INCEPTION OUR STORY WDB began as a micro-finance programme in 1991 to fight poverty and give rural women the necessary resources to empower themselves. In 1996, WDB Investment Holdings was established to support the programmes of the WDB Trust. THE FULL STORY


established by women


WDB is a women founded, women-led and operated group with a combined over 25 years’ experience with a focus on funding and supporting women entrepreneurs. WDB is all about making a social impact on women; providing them with business funding and investment opportunities.

Our aim is to be the leading game-changer in women advancement and empowerment in South Africa, impacting the African continent.




In 1991, the WDB Trust was formally set up – a women-led and managed Public Benefit Organisation that mobilises resources to promote its premier women’s development programme: an integrated poverty-eradication strategy that links poor households in rural areas to finance and to a basket of development services, training and enterprise opportunities in order to build productive and sustainable family and community livelihoods.




In late 1996, a fully women-owned, led and managed investment holding company, WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH), was formed to ensure the Trust could be sustainable and independent so to reduce its reliance on donors. WDBIH promotes the advancement of women in senior leadership positions in its investee companies and serves on the boards of its investments.

WDBIH has grown to be an active strategic partner, represented at board level across a number of listed blue-chip and unlisted investee companies.

While most investment companies aim to pay their investors dividends, WDBIH is unique in that most of its profits are channelled to the WDB Trust.



What brings WDBIH and WDB Trust together is the shared vision of changing the landscape for all women in South Africa, from those who sit in boardrooms or executive positions to grassroots rural women.



In 2016, together with Seed Engine and Grovest, WDB launched an impact fund. The WDB Growth Fund aims to fill the funding gap for growing small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

The WDB Growth Fund promotes economic growth by unlocking barriers that currently prevent the SMME sector from expanding and creating jobs, primarily through capital, high-impact mentorship combined with technical and business support, as well as support in accessing markets.



The company was able to distribute dividends of R200-million to the WDB Trust, with the WDB Trust reaching well over 200,000 female entrepreneurs in rural areas.