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Barbara James

Founder and CEO of Henshaw Capital Partners

Barbara is founder and CEO of the first independent pan-African private equity Fund of Funds - Henshaw Capital Partners.
Barbara served on the Nigerian Federal Government Committee on Information Technology Incubation Centre Development in 2011/2012 and on the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment committee on Small and Medium Enterprise Development from 2011 to present.

After a 15 year career in business applications of information systems, she entered the African venture capital industry and helped establish the African Venture Capital Association (AVCA).

From 2005 to 2007, she was Managing Director of AVCA and served on its Executive Board from 2004 until 2009.

At AVCA, she was responsible for the development, fund raising and implementation of programs to promote and strengthen the private equity and venture capital industry in Africa including AVCA’s research and publications program, training program, industry briefing and conference program, advocacy and regulatory programs. 

Barbara has been instrumental in the development of innovative venture capital solutions in Africa. They include initiating the African Diaspora SME Fund; advocating for UK (and G8) tax incentives to investors in African venture capital; an African Technical Assistance Fund and the first independent African venture capital Fund of Funds.  In 2007, she advised the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan Governments on the setting up of an SME venture capital fund, a technical assistance facility and an enabling regulatory environment for venture capital in East Africa. She is on the Board of East Africa Capital Partners - an OPIC financed fund making private equity investments in  technology, media and telecoms sectors in East Africa.

She is a recognized expert in the field of African private equity and has spoken at several conferences as well as featured in several print, electronic and broadcast media including CNN and the BBC discussing issues of venture capital and development in Africa.


My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, March 5

4:00pm CET