Five Facts about Accelerating Regional Business Growth
By Lucas Robinson | Fri Mar 03 2023
ARBG to benefit thousands of East African SMEs through training and mobilized capital
Renew Capital officially launched the seven-year Accelerating Regional Business Growth (ARBG) program in partnership with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) this month in Kigali, Rwanda. The ARBG program will benefit thousands of SMEs through training and help attract and mobilize capital into the continent.
Here are five exciting facts you should know about the ARBG program:
1. ARBG focuses on regional impact
Unlike many programs that take a country-by-country approach, ARBG starts with a regional perspective in order to learn from and leverage regional experiences. For example, with a regional approach, a company in Kenya can learn from the experiences of a company doing similar things in Zambia, or a company in Ethiopia will hear about the growth process of a Ugandan company. Regional impact sharing is hugely valuable.
2. ARBG supports intra-African trade
The vast majority of trade-enabling programs in Africa over the last two decades have been focused on trade with the West, the Middle East or Asia. Very few programs have focused on supporting trade between African countries. By making intra-African trade a focus of the ARBG training program we hope to leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area, which should be implemented over the next decade. The program will support businesses with knowledge of how to trade with other African countries and produce country-by-country trade assessments outlining barriers to trade that many entrepreneurs on the continent face.
3. ARBG empowers women-led businesses
ARBG is making a concerted effort to support women-owned and women-led businesses. In addition, we're helping all businesses we work with to look at ways in which their businesses can be gender smart and cognizant of the role gender plays in fostering successful businesses in Africa.
4. ARBG expands Renew Capital’s presence on the continent
ARBG will operate in seven cities: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kigali, Rwanda; Kampala, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Khartoum, Sudan. Expanding Renew Capital’s efforts across a number of different countries exposes investors to a much wider range of investment opportunities and spreads out investment risk and – hopefully – will get people that otherwise may not be comfortable investing in Africa more comfortable with that idea.
5. ARBG to train thousands of SMEs
The ARBG training program will train thousands of entrepreneurs in elements of what it means to run a successful business, including finance, management, trade training, etc. ARBG allows us to reach thousands more businesses in the region than we otherwise might have been able to reach. And even though Renew Capital may only invest in a small number of these companies, there are countless wider benefits for the companies in the region that are involved in the program.
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.