KAMPALA, Uganda, September 24, 2015/PRNewswire — Wednesday 23 September marked the official launch of the GroFin Small and Growing Businesses (SGB) Fund. It aims to catalyse sustainable job creation through supporting small and growing businesses in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and Egypt.
The Fund aims to support over 9,800 under-served entrepreneurs and help create 47,000 sustainable jobs across Africa over the next 10 years.
The Fund has initial commitments of US$100 million, expected to grow to US$150 million in two years, making it one of the largest funds specifically targeting SMEs in Africa. This follows on the fully invested US$170 million GroFin Africa Fund.
The Fund was co-created by GroFin, a pioneering SME development financier, Shell Foundation (an independent charity), the German development bank KfW, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, Norfund, and the Dutch government through the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF).
The Fund seeks to address the different market barriers faced by African entrepreneurs with an integrated solution of patient growth finance, tailored business support, and access to markets. Based on the viability of an entrepreneur’s business and growth plans, and not the availability of collateral, entrepreneurs can access loans ranging from US$100,000 to US$1.5 million for a period between two and six years.
The launch hosted international representatives of the public, private and non-governmental sectors interested in learning how the Fund can spur inclusive economic growth through supporting Africa’s SME sector. Notable guests included the Honourable Shem Bagaine, Minister of State for East African Affairs, Mr. Guenter Nooke, the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Commissioner for Africa, Dr. Peter Blomeyer, German Ambassador to 0Uganda, Dr. Klaus Mueller, KfW Director, Mr. Hans Peter van der Woude, Head of Development Cooperation and Economic Affairs of the Netherlands Embassy, Dr. William Kalema, former Shell Foundation Trustee and Dr., Margaret Blick Kigozi, current Shell Foundation Trustee.
Featured speakers included Mr Nooke, Dr. Mueller, Shell Foundation’s former trustee, Dr. William Kalema, Norfund’s East Africa Regional Director Mr. Kjartan Stigen, Mr. Anton Koonstra on behalf of the Manager of DGGF and GroFin Group CEO Jurie Willemse. The keynote address by Mr. Nooke reinforced the importance of investing in emerging markets.
GroFin operates in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, and Nigeria.