October 7, 2019—IFC, a member of the
World Bank Group, is investing $10 million in CardinalStone Capital Advisers
Growth Fund (CCAGF), a private equity fund launched and managed by CardinalStone
Capital Advisers (CCA)- an investment management firm, to expand access
to finance for high-growth, underserved small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
in Nigeria and Ghana.
SMEs account for 96% of businesses in Nigeria and 85% of the private sector
in Ghana. The growing middle class in both presents an opportunity for
SMEs to scale up, however access to long-term capital remains a challenge.
CCAGF will seek to support SME growth opportunities by providing long-term
capital as well as operational expertise to ensure business sustainability.
Yomi Jemibewon, Co-Founder and Managing Director of CardinalStone Capital
Advisers, said: “This funding represents a significant step towards catalyzing
growth in small and medium enterprises in Nigeria and Ghana. We look forward
to working with the IFC as a partner in this fund as we strive to continuously
bring best practices in operating standards to our investments and investee
CardinalStone Capital Advisers is seeking
$100 million in total for the CCAGF fund and has secured $50 million in
capital commitments from the CDC Group, the UK’s development institution;
Kuramo, a leading African investment firm; FMO, the Dutch Development Bank;
and NSIA, the Nigerian sovereign wealth fund; among other investors.
“IFC’s investment in CardinalStone will spur growth of SMEs and facilitate
much-needed job creation, while creating the ecosystem for a more robust
local private equity and mezzanine financing market,” said William Sonneborn,
IFC Senior Director for Disruptive Technology and Funds. “By supporting
SMEs in fast-growing markets, we hope to bring best practices that raise
the bar for operational improvements and environmental and governance standards
across the investee companies.”
Despite being a first-time fund manager, the
CCA team has experience investing in these markets, having deployed $29
million in capital in 5 investments across several sectors. Their
investment in cassava starch production in Nigeria is already creating
value for hundreds of farmers who can now transform their raw materials
into value-added products, reduce reliance on imports and improve supply
This investment is part of the IFC SME
Ventures program that supports
high-growth entrepreneurs in frontier markets by investing in funds that
provide risk capital. The program also offers technical assistance on a
range of issues, from management skills to accounting, to build a more
sustainable environment for SMEs. SME Ventures funds have financed over
100 SMEs, which have created over 6,000 direct jobs, many more indirect
jobs, and generated tax revenues for governments.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than
$19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About CardinalStone Capital Advisers
CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA) is a Private Equity Investment Adviser
operating out of Lagos Nigeria. Established in 2016, CCA is a spin-off
from CardinalStone Partners, an independent investment banking firm in
Nigeria. CCA manages funds to be invested in high growth SMEs that can
grow into market leaders across sectors that are deemed strategic to the
development of West African economies.