Boost for $55 mln E African start-up/SME fund

A new fund is making good progress in raising up to US$55 million to be invested in business start-ups and small and medium enterprises in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. The Fanisi Venture Capital Fund was set up with help from Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) and incorporated in Luxembourg. Norfund is also an investor and a shareholder in the management company, Fanisi Capital Ltd.,,which is majority owned by Nairobi-based Amani Capital Ltd.
Fanisi has raised $40 mln in commitments and expects to reach its goal in the next 12 months. On 22 January, the Internatonal Finance Corporation (, part of the World Bank group, announced it will invest $7.5 mln.
According to an IFC press release: “The fund plans to make investments between $500,000 and $3 million in a variety of sectors, ranging from manufacturing to technology, helping smaller enterprises and start-ups get the capital they need to create and expand businesses. It also will set up a business services support facility to help pipeline companies overcome technical and governance limitations, pre- and post-investment.”
It quotes Ayisi Makatiani, head of the fund’s investment team and CEO of the fund nabager: “IFC’s early and continued support to the Fanisi team has been extremely helpful, especially for a local and first-time fund management platform.”
IFC’s Gender Programme has agreed to support the business services facility, and IFC’s Rwanda Enterprise Development Programme will provide training support to the fund’s portfolio companies.
Haydee Celaya, IFC Director for Private Equity and Investment Funds, said, “IFC is investing in this local private equity fund that focuses in growing SMEs and startups at a critical time, when the region needs long-term financial and advisory support. The investment also will help build local fund management capacity.”
IFC is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by investing in private equity funds that target small enterprises in developing markets. Smaller enterprises are responsible for much of the job creation in the East African region.

5 Responses to “Boost for $55 mln E African start-up/SME fund”

  1. Navnit Patel

    I am looking for Venture Capital for expanding my current Business of Debit Cards for unbakable popu;ation in Rural & Uraban parts of Uganda.The operation of the company has been launched and are contempleting to have 80,000 card users in Uganda with a target of having 2million users in next 3years period.
    If ther is any possibility of haveing a VC partner I shall be obliged if he can get in touch with me either at above email contact or at my or Tel:-London:- 07958012715 or in Uganda 00256-772424884 or email me

  2. Paul Mensah

    I am looking for venture capital to start the production of Chocolate Drinks and Fruits Juices. An amount of $300,000 shall be required. Terms and conditions shall be discussed and agreements reached on equity participation etc.

    You can reach me on or call 233-020-3743566

  3. Tom Minney

    This website does not provide funding and does not endorse or claim to provide any information about funding requests posted here. It is up to potential investors to do their own due diligence and examination. However, we are happy to contribute in any way to linking entrepreneurs and funding, it is what capital markets are for anyway. Does anyone know other good sources for linking entrepreneurs and sources of risk capital?

  4. Ngosa Mulamba

    Hi Investors,

    We are in a process of setting up a Fund that will look to providing bridging finance and medium term financing to well managed SMEs across the Zambian market. Further we are targeting suppliers and contractors to listed copper mines as clients. Get back to me for more.

  5. Tom Minney

    Hi Ngosa Mulamba
    Good luck with looking for financing. We are only a media source and don’t have resources ourselves. However, if you send me some details of your fund (email: tom.minney[at], I am happy to see if there is some way to write more about the initiative as it is important for local experts to become key capital markets intermediaries.. congratulations on your plans.
    Best wishes