Investor Activity

$200 million (USD) Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund Launched for Investment Vehicles (IVs) to Catalyze Job

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$200 million (USD) Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund Launched for Investment Vehicles (IVs) to Catalyze Job

The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth
Fund (The Fund), a Fund -of- Funds of African investment vehicles (IVs) to
support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs, launched today with $200 million
(USD). The goal is enabling dignified and fulfilling work for youth,
particularly young women. The Fund is bold and catalytic, helping to crowd in
capital for African entrepreneurs by strengthening and de-risking African IVs
that advance gender equity in entrepreneurship.

In addition, the Fund will offer a business development facility for its
portfolio companies. The initiative will use gender-lens investing (GLI)
principles to promote the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy,
which aims to enable 30 million youth in Africa, particularly young women, to
access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. So far, the MFAGF has recruited
two IVs supporting entrepreneurial growth – one in East Africa and one in West
Africa.

African owned IVs, led, and based are considered high-risk. At the same time,
African SMEs struggle to access the financing they need to scale, inhibiting
their potential. The Fund tackles both challenges by investing in and
strengthening African IVs that in turn support African SMEs.

“We need to do everything it takes now to build a continent with shared
prosperity and sustainable, inclusive growth,” says Dr. Dorothy Nyambi,
President and CEO of MEDA “This Fund-of-Funds will strengthen a new crop of
African IVs to drive decent job creation for women and youth via investments
in small and medium-sized enterprises.” Dr. Nyambi added that success lies in
increasing youth employment and moving from talk to action.

“More than 75 percent of ventures funded will be led by women creating jobs,”
Dr. Nyambi said. “Ultimately, our impact will be in building the investment
ecosystem for investment vehicles and in the SMEs that will thrive and create
dignified employment.”

“The MFAGF has built up a promising pipeline of 180 diverse investment
vehicles, including Early-stage, Growth, Debt and Seed VC Funds and other
non-traditional funds,” says Samuel Akyianu, MFAGF Chief of Party/Managing
Director. “Five have gone through our investment screening process, two
female-led investment vehicles are past due diligence and received a
favourable investment decision.”

Akyianu 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 decent job creation for Africa’s youth through a
process that incorporates gender, diversity, inclusivity, social, and
environmental performance.

The Fund-of-Fund’s vision is led by MEDA and implemented by a consortium of
partners, including Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) and Entrepreneurial
Solutions Partners (ESP), Genesis Analytics, the Criterion Institute, and
Africa Communications Media Group.

Source: Bloomberg.com

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