$200 million fund launched to support African SMEs

The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF) has launched a $200 million funding initiative for small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa. The MFAGF is a funding scheme that works through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent,

Besides providing capital for investment vehicles, The Fund of Funds will offer a business development facility for its portfolio companies. The initiative will use gender lens investing principles to help advance the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

The program has so far identified two investment vehicles-one in East Africa and another in West Africa to help in supporting entrepreneurial growth.

“The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund’s goal is to provide dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women.” Mastercard observes,  “The Fund of Funds is catalytic, helping to bring in additional capital for African entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. It strengthens and de-risks African investment funds committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.”

Mastercard has a vision of enabling 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

Eligible enterprises are those owned and led by African entrepreneurs and located on the African continent are often considered high-risk.

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Simon W Nderitu

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