· The Fund-of-Funds invests in African investment vehicles targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and applies Gender Lens Investing (GLI) principles.
· It provides Business Development Services (BDS) support to investment funds and portfolio SMEs.
· It targets a major boost in decent jobs for women and youth.
ACCRA, Ghana, 1 December 2022 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF), a Fund of Funds that works through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, launched today with a committed $200 million (USD). The goal of the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund is to enable dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women. The Fund-of-Funds is bold and catalytic, helping to crowd in capital for African entrepreneurs by strengthening and de-risking African investment vehicles that are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.
In addition to providing capital for investment vehicles, the MFAGF will offer a business development facility for their portfolio companies. The Fund-of-Funds initiative will use gender-lens investing (GLI) principles to help advance the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. So far, the Fund-of-Funds has recruited two investment vehicles supporting entrepreneurial growth- one in East Africa and one in West Africa.
Investment vehicles that are African owned, led, and based are typically considered high-risk. At the same time, African SMEs struggle to access the financing they need to scale, inhibiting their potential. The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund tackles both challenges by investing in and strengthening African investment vehicles 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 and empower a new crop of African investment vehicles 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 Fund-of-Funds has recruited a stellar Investment Committee from Africa’s best and brightest financial and investment experts including: Hamdiya Ismaila, general manager at Venture Capital Trust Fund/Ghana, Kanini Mutooni, savvy investment leader, Dr. Frank Aswani, CEO of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), Lumka Mlambo, fund principal at the South Africa SME Fund, and Mercy Mutua, Head of Access to Finance at the Mastercard Foundation.
“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,” saysSamuel 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 favorable investment decision.” Akyianu added.
Akyianu explains that the main objective is to make investments that generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact while contributing to building a stronger and more vibrant African investment ecosystem. He says the Fund-of-Funds 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 for all investments.
The Fund-of-Fund’s vision is 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.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the MEDA.
Notes to editors
About the Mastercard Foundation African Growth Fund
The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund is a $200 million (USD) impact investing initiative by the Mastercard Foundation. It works through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, with the goal of enabling dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women. The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund is catalytic, helping to crowd in additional capital for African entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs, by strengthening and de-risking African investment vehicles that are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian foundation and one of the largest in the world, with approximately $40 billion in assets. The Foundation was created in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. Since its inception, the Foundation has operated independently of the company. The Foundation’s policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its Board. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) has been implementing effective market-driven programs globally since 1953. MEDA combines innovative financial and technical expertise to build and enhance sustainable agri-food systems that provide decent work for people living in poverty with a focus on systemically marginalized communities, including women and youth. Our core expertise lies in market systems, environmental sustainability and climate action, gender equality and social inclusion, inclusive financial services, and impact investment. MEDA partners with local private, public and civil society actors, strengthening individuals, institutions, communities, and ecosystems, and thereby contributing to sustainable and inclusive systemic change.
For more information please visit: www.meda.org
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