Cote d'Ivoire: AfDB approves €5m equity investment to support small businesses

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a €5 million equity participation in Investisseur & Partenaire pour le Développement 2 (IPDEV.2), to support small growing businesses (SGBs) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Mali, Niger, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Ghana, and Madagascar are among the targeted countries, the Bank said on Thursday.

IPDEV.2 is an innovative impact investment company launched by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), to finance and support SGBs1, start-ups at the base of the pyramid of SMEs.

According to the Bank, IPDEV.2 plans to launch 10 investment funds in selected low income countries through which it will provide equity, quasi equity and debt to more than 500 SGBs with investment needs ranging from € 30,000 and € 300,000 over the next decade, translating to 15,000 jobs to be created of which 30% will be for women.

IPDEV.2 is a third generation investment company which provides financial and technical assistance to SGBs, which cannot access classic lenders as they are seen to be too risky despite being great drivers of development and inclusive growth.

"The project aims to address job creation needs and SGB financing gaps by kick-starting early-stage investing in African SGBs, through a model that attracts African capital toward the underserved segment of SMEs and strengthens local asset managers capacity.

"It also builds an impact investment industry in some of the least developed countries in Africa and fosters development of indigenous investment teams capable of financing early stage businesses and accelerates the emergence of entrepreneurship on the continent," said a statement issued by the AfDB.

Each investment vehicle will be managed by a local team identified and trained by I&P (the Manager) and have a capitalization of between €2 and €5 million, of which IPDEV.2 will take a maximum stake of 30%.  The remaining 70% will be raised locally through the Manager’s established network.

The 1st close proceeds were used to launch the initial 3 of the 10 planned vehicles in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger. In each case, I&P and the national Fund Managers succeeded in attracting commercial investment from a range of institutional investors in each country including banks, corporates, insurance firms, sovereign funds and other financial institutions such ASKIA, Société Générale Bank, Fonsis and Sonatel.

The equity participation provides the Bank an opportunity to be part of an innovative programme designed to broaden access to finance to a large spectrum of small start-ups in a single investment vehicle and in a flagship initiative well aligned with its High 5s.
-0- PANA VAO/AR 8June2017

08 june 2017 16:40:53




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