Source: "$30m SME investment firm established in East Africa" by Tom Jackson on Disrupt Africa
A group of international investors have partnered to establish the US$30 million investment company Business Partners International East Africa (BPI EA), which will provide funding and support for SMEs in a number of sectors in the region.
Risk finance firm Business Partners, the World Bank's investment arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dutch impact investor Stichting DOEN and the Dutch development agency FMO have all put in US$6 million for a 20 per cent share in the company, with the remaining 20 per cent held by the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) and Canada-based Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).
Five multilateral financial institutions have put together $30 million to lend to selective Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Business Partners International East Africa (BPI EA), will provide cash ranging from $50,000 to $1 million. The lending formula has been tested in South Africa and several other African countries including Kenya and Rwanda proving to be an effective way strengthen the SME sector. Business Partners International is a specialised risk capital financier which focuses on funding SMEs that have viable businesses.
Former MEDA interns bike across Canada for Ghanaian women farmers
Mary Fehr just learned to ride a bike a few years ago, when she was 17. Now she and Sarah French are cycling thousands of kilometres across Canada—from Victoria, B.C., to St. John's, Nfld.—to raise money for Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) through its Bike To Grow campaign.
Cycling across Canada on a mission
On a mission to support women soybean farmers in Northern Ghana, two young women will undertake a four-month bike ride across Canada to raise $150,000. The money will go to Mennonite Economic Development Associates' GROW project in Ghana. GROW, or Greater Rural Opportunities for Women, is a six-year project to help improve the incomes and food security of 20,000 women and their families.
Source: "Perkiomen Trail Ride to Support MEDA Project" by Lora for Franconia Conference, Mennonite Church USA
Want to help women in Ghana learn to grow soybeans? Bring your bicycle to Salford Mennonite Church on Saturday, May 2 to join a ride on the Perkiomen Trail, organized by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). The ride will start at Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, at 2:00 p.m.
Source: "How Canada can regain its prestige as a foreign aid leader" by Tim Jackson for the Embassy
Impact investing links public, private money for the public good.
The argument that Canada is a declining power on the world stage is a familiar refrain within government circles. The absorption of the Canadian International Development Agency into Foreign Affairs and the sale of official residences abroad have critics arguing whether Canada has lost its prestige as a country that once led international development initiatives.
More than 500 Christian business-men and women from a half-dozen countries converged at the corner of Portage and Main in Winnipeg for four days in early November. There, in the shadow of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, participants attending the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) annual convention learned about human rights and "human dignity through entrepreneurship."
Source: "Grebel students win 2014 MEDA Business Case Competition" by Fred Martin for the Canadian Mennonite
In only its second year of competition, a Conrad Grebel University College student team won the Business Case Competition at the annual Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) convention, held this year in Winnipeg on Nov. 8.
The team, headed up by fourth-year student Jono Cullar, an international development major, beat out five teams from other Mennonite colleges and universities from across North America.
Source: "To raise funds for a project for female farmers in Ghana" in UpBeat
Sarah French and Mary Fehr are taking a bike trip across Canada they call "Bike to Grow," to raise funds for a project for female farmers in Ghana.
Sarah says, "We are doing this 8,710 km trek because we believe in an NGO called the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). I went to Nicaragua with MEDA as an intern in 2013/2014 to work on sustainable development in agriculture. I had lived in Argentina with Rotary in 2007/2008 and in Spain 2011/2012 as a university exchange, but in Nicaragua I really got to see poverty for the first time, firsthand."
Source: "Biking across Canada to support women" by Barry Bergen for the Canadian Mennonite
Two young Canadian women, Mary Fehr and Sarah French plan to spend the summer riding their bikes across the country to raise funds for the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in Ghana. The two spent more than six months as MEDA interns, Fehr in Tanzania, and French in Nicaragua.
Source: "Face to Face: Mentoring an Emerging Fund Manager" by Melwin Dcosta in the summer 2015 issue of The ILPA News
In emerging economies, SMEs play a pivotal role in driving sustainable economic growth and employment. However, "access to capital" has been identified as one of these SME's key obstacles to growth. Venture capital and private equity funds in these economies that invest in local SMEs can play a critical role in bridging investible capital with opportunities in their market.
First-time fund managers face many challenges that prevent them from fully participating in the global sector, most problematic being able to overcome the stigma of being labeled a first time fund and convincing investors beyond home borders of the investment-worthiness of their funds. Funds without an established track record have a tough time making a strong case for international investors.
Thunder is rolling over the horizon at the start of the rainy season in Suke, a small village in Ghana’s arid north.
Suke is remote, a two hour drive from Wa, the nearest major town. One major road closed for repairs creates a ninety minute diversion along dirt tracks that have collapsed into ditches, some of them barely passable by four-by-four or motorbike.
The village’s women gather in a semicircle in the shadow of a large tree to demonstrate their Talking Books—coloured plastic boxes with 10 buttons, all marked with basic symbols, which they hope could provide a lever to mitigate the fragility of their rural livelihoods and help them to achieve the social and economic empowerment that many women in the region lack.
Source: "Students ponder poverty at conference" by Chay Reigle on the Bluffton University website
Nine Bluffton students explored business solutions to poverty at this year's Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) conference.