WATERLOO, ON, December 2, 2022 /CNW/ – The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (the Fund), a fund-on-Funds of Africa’s investment vehicles (IVs) to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs, launched today with 200 million dollars (US DOLLAR). The aim is to enable decent and fulfilling work for young people, especially young women. The fund is bold and catalytic, helping to raise capital for African entrepreneurs by strengthening and de-risking African IVs that promote gender equality in entrepreneurship.
In addition, the fund will offer a business development mechanism for its portfolio companies. The initiative will use the principles of Gender Investing (GLI) to promote the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa works a strategy that aims to empower 30 million youth in Africaespecially young women, to access decent and fulfilling work by 2030. MFAGF has so far hired two IVs supporting entrepreneurial growth – one in east africa and one in West Africa.
Africa IV owned, led and based are considered high risk. At the same time, African SMEs struggle to access the finance they need to scale, hindering their potential. The fund addresses both challenges by investing in and strengthening African IVs, which in turn support African SMEs.
“We must do whatever it takes now to build a continent of shared prosperity and sustainable, inclusive growth,” says Dr. Dorothy Nyambipresident and CEO of MEDA “This fund of funds will strengthen a new crop of African IVs to drive the creation of decent jobs for women and youth through investments in small and medium enterprises.” Dr. Nyambi added, that success lies in increasing youth employment and moving from talk to action.
“More than 75 percent of the funded ventures will be led by women creating jobs,” Dr Nyambi said. “Ultimately, our impact will be in building an investment ecosystem for investment vehicles and in SMEs that will thrive and create decent employment.”
“MFAGF has built a promising portfolio of 180 diverse investment vehicles, including early stage, growth, debt and seed venture funds and other non-traditional funds,” says Samuel Akiyanu, Chief Party/Managing Director of MFAGF. “Five have gone through our investment screening process, two women-led investment vehicles have passed due diligence and received a favorable investment decision.”
Akiyanu explains that the main objective is to make investments that generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact while building a stronger and more vibrant African investment ecosystem. He says the fund is committed to measuring and reporting on the creation of decent jobs for young people in Africa through a process that includes gender, diversity, inclusion, social and environmental outcomes.
The Fund-of-Fund vision is led by MEDA and delivered by a consortium of partners including Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) and Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP), Genesis Analytics, Criterion Institute and Africa Communications Media Group.
Notes to the editors
About the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund
The fund is a 200 million dollars (USD) impact investment initiative from the Mastercard Foundation. It works through African IVs to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, enabling decent and fulfilling work for young people, especially young women. It is catalytic in helping to raise additional capital for African entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, by strengthening and de-risking African investment mechanisms that are committed to promoting gender equality in entrepreneurship.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian foundation and one of the largest in the world with approx 40 billion dollars in assets. The foundation was created in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it went public. Since then, the Foundation has been operating independently. The Foundation’s policies, operations and program decisions are determined by its Board. For more information, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
MEDA has implemented effective market-oriented programs worldwide since 1953. It combines financial and technical expertise to build and improve sustainable agri-food systems that provide decent work for people living in poverty in marginalized communities, including women and youth. Our core expertise is in market systems, environmental sustainability and climate action, gender equality and social inclusion, inclusive financial services and impact investing. MEDA partners with local private, public and civic actors, strengthening individuals, institutions, communities and ecosystems and thereby contributing to sustainable and inclusive systemic change.
For more information, please visit: https://meda.org/mfagf
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SOURCE Mennonite Economic Development Associates
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