By Joanne Bladd
Company seeks to widen its remit but denies change is linked to global slowdown.
The UAE’s first women-only investment fund is to scrap its original mandate in favour of attracting both male and female investors, Arabian Business can reveal.
Forsa, a Dubai World Holding venture, will also abandon its pledge to offer venture capital only to female-led businesses, with a source at the company revealing the fund will also now consider bids from any large-scale projects.
The spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said the Dubai firm would also widen its remit to include markets outside the GCC region.
A formal announcement is expected to be released on the Forsa website.
The female-focused fund, which was established in January 2007, used an all-female management team to target high net-worth women in the UAE and wider GCC area, encouraging them to plough their disposable income into Forsa’s investment portfolio.
A portion of the firm’s investment income was also used to provide venture capital to women-led start-ups, to help bridge the funding gap for local female entrepreneurs.
The spokesperson denied the policy change was a result of the global downturn and resulting liquidity freeze, and said female-focused investments had afforded the fund “very good returns.”
The spokesperson added that the fund would continue to seek out women-led businesses among its other investment projects. “We’re not excluding it. We’re just not focusing solely on it anymore.
“At the end of the day we an investment company, and we’re about making money. We need to look at all the opportunities available.”
I can remember trying to contact these people as a journalist. They were too arrogant to talk to us.