In partnership with AFSIC and FSD Africa, LelapaFund enabled the participation of several emerging fund managers in AFSIC 2018, and organised a side workshop: “The Innovative Fund Models Workshop for Capital Markets Inclusion of SMEs“
Investing in Africa’s “missing middle” SMEs remains a huge challenge for the fund management industry. Many innovators in the fund space are working on this problem, but are typically excluded from mainstream events such as AFSIC. This partnership changed that by bringing together DFIs and fund managers to discuss designs for innovative fund and non-fund structures that facilitate the capital markets inclusion of “missing middle” African SMEs. The workshop had a strong gender lens, targeting both women fund managers and women entrepreneurs.
We deliberately used the term “capital markets inclusion” to distinguish it from “financial inclusion”. The former includes the full range of risk capital instruments that can be used in the low end of the SME market (sub$1mn deal size), while the latter is typically associated with microcredit.
Innovative funds target the new generation of African SMEs that will become tomorrow’s pipeline for the larger private equity funds represented at AFSIC. We are excited about the potential to spur greater collaboration between DFIs, PE funds and innovative structures so that more SMEs, particularly those founded by women, are included in capital markets.
If you would like to participate in this work, please contact us.