Renew Capital, an Africa-focused impact investment firm, has announced a seven-year partnership with funding from the Canadian government to expand its successful blended finance model across East Africa.
The newly formed partnership, giving rise to the Accelerating Regional Business Growth (ARBG) program, seeks to boost regional economic integration and extend technical aid and support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in job creation, investment facilitation, and gender equality.
For the past decade, Renew has been investing in Ethiopia using blended finance, combining private capital with public funding, grants, and other financial instruments to reduce the financial risks involved and attract investment from a wider range of sources.
The ARBG program will be implemented in seven cities across East Africa, including Addis Ababa; Kigali, Rwanda; Kampala, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Khartoum, Sudan.
The goal of the program is to create 12,000 jobs, of which 50% will be for women, facilitate $121.7 million of private capital into SMEs, support 150 SMEs to increase the representation of women in their workforce and leadership, and facilitate $87 million in regional trade.
Renew Capital Senior Investment Manager Njuguna Diana said, “The ARBG program is promising as it provides a platform to help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges they face in accessing capital through different training programs and advocacy work with stakeholders such as governments.”
Renew Capital which backs innovative companies with high-growth potential, manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations, and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. With this new agreement, Renew Capital plans to expand its investment network to half of Africa’s 54 countries by 2027.