Areas of Expertise
Gender lens investing
Deal sourcing and fund management
Fundraising and business development
Stakeholder management and advocacy
Partnership and women economic empowerment
Entrepreneur technical assistance; program design, management and execution
Andia Laura Chakava is an Investment professional. She is the founding Chairperson of New Faces New Voices Kenya chapter (women in finance network) and is passionate about facilitating intra Africa investment, investor education and is a global thought leader in gender lens investing. She is the founding principal of AC Advisory a gender lens consultancy firm and is currently the Investment Director at the Graça Machel Trust to co-lead the organization’s gender lens investing initiative. She was the lead consultant in a 2017 publication by the Graça Machel Trust on the “Growth barriers affecting women entrepreneurs in East Africa.”
Andia is one of the first female fund managers in the Africa region and has been instrumental in the setup of two fund management companies from inception in Kenya (Old Mutual Investment Services and Alpha Africa Asset Managers) where she served in each as Managing Director. Andia is still recognized for being one of the youngest Managing Directors of a non-family owned business in Kenya at the age of 30. She is a non-executive director of Sterling Investment Bank, East African Educational Publishers and a former board member of Echo Network Africa a $30 million grant making facility ( Kenya women holding). She is a gender lens advisory board member at the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (avpa), an investment advisory board member of Kenya women’s enterprise fund a $40 million government debt fund, an investment committee member of OPES LCEF an impact COVID-19 response facility and the incoming Chair of the investment advisory council for Canada’s Equality Fund a CAD$300 million philanthropic and investment fund.
Andia has worked with various financial services institutions – banks, fund managers and development finance institutions to create gendered programs, product solutions and new frameworks to drive more capital towards women entrepreneurs in Africa. She has also worked collaboratively with various women networks to improve their agency, upskill their member base and strengthen partnerships. She is an active member of women in investments Africa and Gender Smart initiative and a mentor at Collaborative for Frontier Finance to promote the work and highlight initiatives for first time female and diverse gender lens investment managers. Andia is also a visiting lecturer at the Bertha centre for social innovation and entrepreneurship on ‘fund development’ at the University of Capetown.
She has over 18 years’ experience in fund management and over 8 years of driving women economic empowerment goals. In 2008 and 2009 she was named ‘Top 40 under 40’ by East Africa’s business daily. In 2014 she was acknowledged as one of 50 rising stars of Africa by Africa report and in 2014 and 2018 she was named Africa’s most influential woman in financial services by CEO magazine and in 2018 won the National Diar Inclusion and Diversity Business Executive champion award in Kenya. In 2019 she was named as a ‘women to watch’ by Forbes magazine in 2020.
She holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance with merit from Cass Business School in London and an honours degree in Economics from York University in Toronto. She enjoys travelling, imparting knowledge and bikram yoga.