Kigali, Rwanda, June 2, 2011--IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, is investing $1.6 million in equity in
Business Partners Rwanda SME Fund (BPI Rwanda). The fund aims to provide
financing and management support for up to 70 SMEs, increasing employment
and local entrepreneurship in Rwanda.
IFC’s investment comprises about 20% of the fund’s total committed capital
of $7.2 million. The target size for the fund is $8.0 million. Other key
investors include the Rwanda Enterprise Investment Company and DOEN, a
Dutch NGO. The Business Partners private equity fund responds to a growing
need for risk capital and quality management advice in Rwanda.
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa, said
“Business Partners’ Rwanda chapter provides a much-needed option for
socially responsible financing. By supporting small and medium enterprises,
the fund will help Rwandan entrepreneurs build businesses and create jobs
across the country. IFC and Business Partners share a commitment
to responsible business models, which should increase focus on social and
environmental performance standards in Rwanda.”
Business Partners International is a South Africa based financier of SMEs,
established in 2004 as a joint venture between IFC and Business Partners.
The BPI Rwanda fund will be managed by a local team, under the oversight
of Business Partners International. The fund will tap into the expertise
of locally based managers and combine financing with business advisory
Nazeem Martin, BPI CEO, said “The partnership with IFC will enable BPI
to provide comprehensive technical services to Rwandan SMEs. This includes
the installation of management information systems, market research and
product development; quality assurance; process efficiency improvements;
and staff training and skill development. With this wide range of services,
BPI aims to improve corporate governance with an eye towards social and
BPI Rwanda is IFC’s fourth investment in a local investment fund managed
by Business Partners International. To date, IFC has invested $5.0 million
in BPI Kenya, $3.7 million in BPI Madagascar and $2 million in BPI Mozambique.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Business Partners
Business Partners Limited is a specialist risk finance company for formal
small and medium enterprises in South Africa, and selected African countries.
The company actively supports entrepreneurial growth by providing financing,
specialist sectoral knowledge and added-value services for viable small
and medium businesses.