Ghana-based AgroCenta recently won USD 20,000 in the Fincluders Startup Challenge, which was created to support new companies seeking to increase financial inclusion. AgroCenta hosts an online trading hub for farmers and agricultural buyers in Ghana. The competition was created by the technical assistance facility of the Luxembourg-based Sanad Fund for MSME and Oasis500, a Jordan-based seed investor and business accelerator operating in the technology sector. Jordan’s liwwa, a platform for lenders to small and medium-sized enterprises, won second place; and third place went to Democrance, a microinsurance company based in the United Arab Emirates.
Sanad, which is named for the Arabic word meaning “support,” was founded in 2011 by German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). Its goal is to help micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) grow to improve the economic outlook of North Africa and the Middle East. It does this by investing in – and otherwise supporting – financial services providers such as microfinance institutions, commercial banks and leasing firms. Sanad is funded by KfW, Germany’s GLS Bank and the EU as well as development finance institutions of the Austrian, German and Swiss governments. Sanad invests in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia and Yemen with an emphasis on Egypt and Tunisia. As of 2016, the fund had raised total investor commitments of USD 186 million. It is advised by Germany’s Finance in Motion, which manages assets valued at EUR 1.6 billion (USD 1.7 billion) as of 2017.
By Sascha Strobl, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Resources:
Fincluders Startup Challenge press release:
http://sentpressrelease.com/pressrelease/attachment/143640/c144933d-8a6b-4d7c-ab90-c0f854f51388/d5b278a5-8b8b-4e4f-ae24-247430314733?fileDisplayName=2017-05 Jury Crowns Winners of Competition for Fintech Startups.pdf
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Investing $15m in Equity in Sanad Fund for MSME for On-lending in the Middle East, North Africa:
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