Mastercard Africa Growth Fund to invest Sh4.7billion in Three Firms

The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund has granted investment approvals to three Investment Vehicles: Chui Ventures, VestedWorld, and SME Impact Fund.

This development represents comes as a milestone for the Fund, bringing its total number of funds to five.

It underscores the Fund’s dedication to facilitating impactful investments that contribute to sustainable economic growth throughout Africa.

“These strategic partnerships represent our ongoing commitment to fostering sustainable development in Africa through impactful  investments. Stay tuned for more developments in the very near future,” said Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund Managing Director Samuel Akyianu.

In the past twelve months, the Fund has also invested $2.2 million in Aruwa Capital  Management of Nigeria, and another $5 million in Inua Capital – a Ugandan first-time fund  manager aiming to provide catalytic risk capital to more than 30 small and medium-sized  enterprises (SMEs).

The investment plan with Inua is to develop Uganda’s market leaders. Inua  Capital prioritizes gender inclusivity, creating jobs with respectable wages, and building a  sustainable investment ecosystem.

African-owned and domiciled funds are perceived as risky, limiting both their ability to secure  financing to scale and their potential to drive growth and employment. African IVs therefore  need to be catalytic to address economic challenges, promote entrepreneurship, and leverage  sustainable growth. As a pioneer Fund of Funds, the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth  Fund’s investments in IVs lowers the risk and serves as a pivotal player in driving continental  economic transformation.

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“This investment validates our effort to drive African innovation and entrepreneurship, and we  are eager to unlock the potential of these promising ventures,” says Joyce Ann Wainaina,  Managing Director of Chui Ventures.

“It will be a game-changer for exceptional African start ups, enabling Chui to supply what they need to flourish. Our experience in global corporate  banking, private equity, and wealth management makes us well-equipped to guide these  startups through early growth stages.”

Chui Ventures is led by Joyce-Ann Wainaina, a first-time fund manager who is dedicated to  backing gender-inclusive startups in Kenya and Nigeria; the Mastercard Foundation Africa  Growth Fund is anchoring this fundraise with a $9 million commitment that will help the fund  reach its $20 million target.

“We are excited to partner with the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund. The deal will  strengthen high-potential African start-ups and provide them with what they need to succeed. Together, we aim to  drive economic transformation and unlock the immense entrepreneurial talent across the  continent.” says Nneka Eze, General Partner and Managing Partner of VestedWorld.

Focused on burgeoning industries, VestedWorld is a Venture Capital Fund that targets  investments in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The fund has received a commitment of $10 million  from the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund that will be deployed in early-stage, high potential companies. The Fund will be providing the first institutional investment to this fund.  VestedWorld aims to catalyze meaningful job creation, ensure fair wages, and stimulate broad based economic progress across communities and regions.

Based in Arusha, Tanzania, the SME Impact Fund will receive a commitment of $8 million. Its  philosophy is that addressing the financing challenges of smallholder farmers and SME food  processors, in turn, unlocks the commercial agricultural potential of smallholder farmers.

“Smallholder farmers are the backbone of African agriculture, and their potential remains  largely untapped due to financial constraints,” says Allert Mentink, Chief Executive Officer of  SME Impact Fund. “Our partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund is a  significant step towards addressing them. By funding agribusiness SMEs, we’re helping the  agricultural sector and empowering the farmers themselves. This collaboration proves our  commitment to transforming the lives of smallholder farmers and driving sustainable  agricultural growth across the continent.

The Africa Growth Fund is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation, managed and  implemented by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) along with a strategic  consortium of partners. This consortium is composed of key entities, each playing a unique and  crucial role in the success of the Fund.

Our partners include Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) as  the Fund Advisor, ESPartners (ESP) as the Business Development Services (BDS) provider,  Criterion Institute as the Gender Equity Diversity and Inclusion Partner, Genesis Analysis as a  Measurement, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning Partner, and Africa Communications Group  as a Communications and Public Engagement Partner.

Building on its successes with Aruwa Capital Management and Inua Capital, the Fund  anticipates further expansion of its reach and impact with the addition of Chui Ventures,  VestedWorld, and SME Impact Fund; ultimately demonstrating investment as a catalyst for  change and solidifying the Fund’s commitment to sustainable development of the continent.

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