The Shell Foundation, a social investment initiative of Netherlands-based petroleum firm Royal Dutch Shell Private Limited Company, reportedly has partnered with GroFin, a South African small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financier, to launch a program to provide USD 100 million in risk capital and unspecified business support to SMEs in the Middle East and Africa. The initiative, named “Nomou”, will initially be focused on Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, with the aim of supporting sustainable businesses and driving job creation. To this end, the initiative will form partnerships with investors, donors and development agencies such as Royal Dutch Shell, the government-backed Jordan Development Enterprise Corporation and the US-based JP Morgan Chase Foundation.
Nomou will provide loans sized from AED 500,000 (USD 136,000) to AED 4 million (USD 1 million), with interest rates ranging between 15 to 20 percent per year and terms of 4 to 6 years. According to a quote attributed to Jurie Willense, CEO of GroFin, “[over] the next five years, we are looking to give business support to 600 SMEs, invest into around 200 of them and create 15,000 sustainable job opportunities.”
As of 2012, the Shell Foundation reported total assets of USD 448 million. Established in 2004, GroFin manages seven funds with committed capital of approximately USD 320 million on behalf of 24 international investors, development funders, banks, corporations and foundations as of 2013.
By Makai McClintock, Research Associate
GroFin is a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development financier based in South Africa. The company assists entrepreneurs with accessing tailored finance and business support in an effort to help them start and grow successful businesses, create jobs and drive socio-economic development. Established in 2004, GroFin manages seven funds with committed capital of approximately USD 320 million on behalf of 24 international investors, development funders, banks, corporations and foundations as of 2013.
About the Shell Foundation:
Launched in 1997, the Shell Foundation is a social investment initiative of Netherlands-based petroleum firm Royal Dutch Shell Private Limited Company. The foundation focuses on promoting sustainable development and operates programs across four continents. Its projects range from tackling pollution in developing countries to helping African entrepreneurs grow their businesses. As of 2012, the Shell Foundation reported total assets of USD 448 million.
Sources and Additional Resources
SME Info Article, “MENA Initiative to Offer Risk Capital to Locally-Owned SMEs,” http://sme.ameinfo.com/blog/mena-initiative-to-offer-risk-capital-to-locally-owned-smes-108
MicroCapital, September 17, 2013, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: LeapFrog Raises $204m for Second Fund; to Invest in Microinsurance, Other Financial Services for Poor People in Africa, Asia,”
MicroCapital, September 10, 2013, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Loans $20m to UT Bank Ghana to Support Small- and Medium Sized Enterprises,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-responsability-loans-20m-to-ut-bank-ghana-to-support-small-and-medium-sized-enterprises-smes/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: GroFin
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Shell Foundation
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