According to an International Finance Corporation (IFC) August 2022 press release, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women-led businesses in West Africa will receive a financial boost through the Uhuru Growth Fund I that provides them with growth capital.
Enabling SMEs in Nigeria and West Africa
“SMEs are essential to economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. Private equity financing can help small businesses grow into bigger regional players. By investing in Uhuru, we will enable more small businesses in Nigeria, and West Africa more broadly, to access much-needed growth capital to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, offer innovative products, and support the region’s economic development,” said Kevin Njiraini, IFC’s Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria.
$10 million equity investment
The press release also states that the IFC’s support comes in the form of a $10 million equity investment, in addition to another $10 million blended finance facility from the International Development Association’s private sector window.
“Private equity activity in Africa remains one of the lowest in the world, representing 2.6 percent of the total volume of private equity financing dedicated to emerging markets. Other than Nigeria, most countries in West Africa have nascent or non-existent private equity markets. Fundraising for private equity in West Africa dropped to $134 million in 2021 from $234 million in 2018,” said the IFC.
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