Are you a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)? You stand a chance of benefiting from the Franco-African Investment Fund (FFA), a new €77m facility.
The investible funds were put together by several organisations including United Capital Plc, Societe Generale, and Orange among other partners.
The fund, that will have a lifespan of 10 years, will be accessible to both African and French enterprises. The French firms that will benefit from the fund are those that either have interest in doing business in and with Africa.
The partners put pen to paper to the agreement in the Malian capital of Bamako, on the sidelines of the recent France- Africa Summit. The summit was attended by among other dignitaries, President Yoweri Museveni, who delivered a keynote address on “Partnership, Peace and Emergency in Africa.”
Other investors in the Franco-African Investment Fund apart from United Capital include:Societe Generale Orange, BpiFrance, Africinvet, Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance Sociale of CDI, Proparco (AFD), SAHAM from Morocco, Financecom, the pension fund of the Central Bank of Kenya and other private investors in Kenya. The fund is sponsored by BpiFrance and Africinvet.
“United Capital is committed to expanding its investment horizon and identifying prime opportunities to grow returns for its investors not just in Nigeria but on the African continent. The purpose of the fund aligns with what United Capital seeks to achieve in Africa,” United Capital Group Chief Executive Officer Oluwatoyin Sanni said of the development in a statement.
The FFA is the latest in a wave of funds coming up to the rescue of SMEs in Uganda and the rest of Africa which struggle to grow because of the high cost of finance from tradition sources such as commercial banks.
The biggest obstacle to business growth faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Uganda is access to finance, according to a 2015 survey by FSD Uganda.
Titled “The National Small Business Survey (NSBS) of Uganda,” the study said 74% of such small businesses said getting funds was their worst nightmare.