Invest East Africa

IEA LogoSmall and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the East African Community benefit from liberalized regional trade but often lack the trade support, information and growth capital to take advantage of these opportunities. MEDA’s Invest East Africa project aims to address these challenges through fundraising and investing up to $40 million USD into SMEs engaged in or having the potential to expand trade in the region and through the creation of a technical assistance facility, which provides Trade Innovation Grants (TIGs) to improve firm capacities to trade within the East African Community.

This four year innovative public-private partnership, executed by MEDA in partnership with Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), an international investment fund based out of Washington, D.C., will spur transformational economic growth in the East African Community through two ways:

1) Investment: Central to this initiative is the SEAF Single Vintage Flex Fund (the Fund), a $40 million fund that will invest in promising SMEs across the EAC that promote trade in the region. Fundraising targets are $20 million by September 2017, with an additional $20 million to be raised in the following two years.

2) Technical Assistance Facility: Complementary to the Fund, the technical assistance (TA) component is made up of three elements:

a. Pre and post-investment technical assistance: Led by SEAF, this support will address SMEs’ gaps in financial controls, budgeting, HR, amongst others. A portion (post-investment) of the TA facility will be trialed as a revolving fund, targeting a payback rate of 80%.

b. Trade Innovation Grant Fund: MEDA will develop and oversee a Trade Innovation Grant (TIG) fund, capitalized by USAID and MEDA funds, to provide economic incentives to SMEs to upgrade in areas related to trade and to support business development services (BDS) provided to SMEs.

c. Environmental and social policy Support: MEDA will support SMEs on their E&S policy and practice.

Tags: Eastern, Southern and Central Africa