EU approves $2m investment to support agri SMEs in Uganda

The European Union has approved a funding of $2million to Inua Impact Fund to support up to 30 Ugandan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The approval that came in March 2023 is expected to indirectly benefit up to 3000 smallholders.

We are honoured to partner with like-minded impact investors who share our vision to catalyse and accelerate high-potential Ugandan enterprises that are providing solutions for Uganda’s most pressing needs,” commented Kim Kamarebe,Managing Director at Inua Capital.Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Gender-Smart Investing are as core to the mission of Inua Capital as our focus on delivering strong risk-adjusted returns, and we are incredibly grateful to these investors for their commitment to our unique perspective,” he said.

Inua Impact Fund will receive the funding as part of a total USD 8 million commitment including EDFI AgriFI and Investisseurs & Partenaires amongst others from the EU-Funded Agriculture Financing to support 30 Ugandan investments that are into early stage and high-growth Ugandan SMEs.

With this funding opportunity, Inua Impact Fund will be the first resident impact investment equity fund in Uganda to be investing in high-potential entrepreneurs and SMEs with financing needs lower than $500,000. Inua Capital apply a gender lens in its investments to correct gender imbalances in the private sector economy and narrow the gap for women in access to capital.

H.E. Jan Sadek, the Ambassador of the European Union to Uganda, said: We are delighted to see this investment from AgriFi ACP regional window land in Uganda, with Inua Capital. Targeting equity investments of between $100.000 and $500.000 is complementary to the existing access to finance facilities that the EU is supporting in Uganda and very much welcome. We trust Inua Capital will deliver on the impact objectives of the fund. Congratulations to all involved in the deal making!

EDFI AgriFI, the EU Agriculture Financing Initiative, is an impact investment facility funded by the European Union, with a mandate to unlock, accelerate and leverage sustainable investments in medium, small and micro agri-enterprises (MSME) that operate in developing countries, with a specific focus on smallholder’s inclusiveness.

Agriculture represents a crucial growth opportunity for Uganda as it accounts for a quarter of the country’s GDP, and three quarter of employment. Through this investment in INUA Impact Fund, EDFI AgriFI will be able to invest in around 10 agri SMEs, which should indirectly support around 3,000 smallholders over 10 years.

Yvonne Chileshe, OACPS Expert on Value Chains stated: “This first investment of EDFI AgriFI in Uganda within the OACPS – EU Framework Programme on Agriculture Value Chains development will facilitate access to the much-needed finance, focusing on smallholders as the engine of economic development and contributing to a more sustainable environment.” She added that this inclusive and outcome-oriented development action will also address environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.

Guillaume Simões, Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company noted: For most companies, Inua will be the first equity investor. The fund will not only provide growth capital but also business support services and technical assistance which should allow them to scale up. With more than 80% of agricultural production in Uganda done on farms below 2 hectares, and as trade creates opportunities for local and regionally exported food crops such as maize and dairy, our investment in Inua will contribute to supporting businesses having a positive impact on food security and that improve the livelihoods of farmers.” Inua Capital is a gender-lens, ESG-lens and impact-focused investor managing funds that provide patient growth capital to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Uganda. Founded in 2021, Inua is a pioneer in localizing private equity investment in Uganda and intends to accelerate the growth of 30 to 40 Ugandan enterprises into sustainable, responsible and profitable national titans of Ugandan industry.