Programme to propel growth of African businesses launched
A programme to provide tailored solutions to help small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to meet their specific business needs has been launched.
It comes at a time when research reveals a staggering $331bn funding gap for SMEs in Africa, particularly those with high growth potential.
Dubbed “Deal Source Africa”, it aims to connect African businesses with investors and transaction advisors, as well as facilitate interactions between African impact funds and investors.
It also aims to unlock opportunities, drive innovation, and propel the growth of African businesses.
The programme which features a digital platform that serves as a connection hub for investors and businesses also has in-person and virtual deal rooms that provides opportunities for businesses to meet their potential investors.
Launching the programme at the opening of the Ghana Impact Summit in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Impact Investing Ghana, Amma Lartey, explained that research was clear that growing SMEs could significantly accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As a result, creating more efficient connections between businesses, local funds, and limited partners could help deploy more appropriate patient capital.
She added that innovative platforms such as Deal Source Africa, built and tested with its users can accelerate efforts to close the SME financing gap.
The two-day event brought together players in the SME sector to engage with global catalytic capital providers to take action on initiatives that can move the capital to transform the region and contribute to economic recovery.
Held on the theme: “Conversations that Move Catalytic Capital for Impact,” it was organised by the Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) and the Nigeria National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (Nigeria NABII).
It was in partnership with the United Nations (UN) in Ghana, Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), FMO Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund, UNDP, Orange Corners, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), LEAP Africa and other partners.
The CEO of the Nigeria National Advisory Board for Impact Investing, Etemore Glover, said Deal Source Africa has the potential to become a significant enabler of financing for businesses and local capital providers across Africa.
“We are excited to be able to collaborate with IIGh on this initiative and to see it grow across Africa through our partners in other countries.
Africa-wide platforms with strong local partners are essential to fill the financing gap facing our businesses,” she said.
Sharing successes the programme has achieved during the pilot phase, the Lead for Deal Source Africa programme, Justina Mensah, said the programme has enabled 94 businesses to connect with 18 investors in Deal Rooms.
He added that 45 businesses have been connected to transaction advisors for one-on-one support leading to three investments being finalised.
She urged all African businesses looking to raise financing, venture funds, and other local capital providers to sign up to the programme.