$100m fund launches to catalyse African entrepreneurship, job creation

A fund worth a whopping US$100-million has recently been announced to support nearly 1 000 entrepreneurs in Africa. The second of its kind within the last year or so, the so-called GroFin Small and Growing Businesses (SGB) Fund seeks to catalyse sustainable job creation by supporting small and growing businesses across the continent.

As revealed in a media release this week, the fund plans to support 9 800 under-served entrepreneurs who, in turn, can help create 47 000 sustainable jobs across Africa over the next 10 years. Specific countries of focus include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and Egypt.

Read more: Kenya’s ICTA launches $1.2-million fund for tech startups

The fund is co-created by Grofin (a development financier with over a decade’s experience), Shell Foundation, German development bank KfW, the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, Norfund, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.

“This is a clear demonstration of the high levels of interest that investors have for smaller investments in Africa that deliver both quantifiable investment and development returns,” adds GroFin’s CEO Jurie Willemse. “The confidence shown in the GroFin team and our unique business model that integrates risk finance with business development assistance to develop entrepreneurs, local business and employment at scale is heartening.”

With offices around the African continent and in the Middle East, GroFin SGB Fund’s key focus is investing in high-impact sectors such as healthcare, education, agro-processing and energy in addition to other sectors that support inclusive growth.

Read more Africa gets its first billion dollar equity fund, courtesy of Helios

Based on the business type and stage, applicant entrepreneurs can access loans ranging from US$100 000 to US$1.5-million for a period between two and six years.

The Grofin SGB Fund is a follow-on to the US$170 million GroFin Africa Fund that is fully invested.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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