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Reflecting on 2022 and Looking Forward to an Impactful 2023

By Julienne Gage | Thu Jan 05 2023
Renew Capital celebrates its continued growth across Africa.
Renew Capital has closed out 2022 having achieved a string of important milestones and generating a lot of momentum for growing the company and furthering its mission in the year to come. This past year, the firm celebrated its 10--year anniversary of impact investing in Africa with expansion to several new countries and investments in gender-smart business and new areas of technology, as well as a brand refresh.In the coming weeks, it will be launching a series of new partnerships, some of which are announced here below. 
Investing In and Building GenderSmart Companies 
Building on Renew Capital’s ongoing commitment to invest in African women, this year, the firm worked with its partnering organizations to create several toolkits to empower businesswomen to grow and participate in gender-smart small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
One of the biggest examples was the publication of the SME Gender Growth (SG2X) Playbook. Co-written and designed by Renew Capital and its partners USAID and the gender-lens investment empowerment organization 2X Challenge, the SG2X toolkit was created to help fund managers and SMEs operating in Africa to build gender-smart SMEs with gender-balanced executives that aim to deliver both attractive financial results and impact.
The content for the toolkit was developed from two years of online gender-smart courses provided by this partnership and implemented by Renew Capital. 
 Renew Capital and the Alliance for Green Revolution (AGRA) have also spent the last two years providing women in agribusiness with training and resources through the African Resilience and Investment Series for Women Executives (ARISE) Program. ARISE was developed with the goal to help women-operated agri-businesses recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and grow their capacity for other potential business crises. The program included training in building the self-confidence needed to meet these challenges
Tech Package Delivers Four Investments
Renew Capital’s investment team spent much of 2022 training, preparing and ultimately investing in several SMEs in an East African tech package aimed at promoting food security, inclusive credit practices for unbanked populations, improved access to transportation and greater social and cultural exchange and preservation. 
Two of the Ugandan companies were direct compliments to each other. Renew Capital’s investment in Quest Financial’s Akellobanker platform will help the unbanked—especially those in rural areas—obtain access to credit, while the digital platform Inputi will help farmers decide what inputs to buy for their crops and when and where to purchase them at agrishops in their area. 
Also contributing to more reliable and productive lives in Uganda is Easy Matatu, a minibus ride sharing app that has been especially popular among women who often carry the double load of handling more familial responsibilities and chores at home while also working an outside job. Unlike regular public minibuses, Easy Matatu can digitally track passengers in the company’s updated vehicles, and drivers are trained in finding the fastest and safest routes throughout Kampala. 
The Renew Capital Brand Refresh
 Finally, Renew Capital spent much of 2022 working on a massive brand refresh to the overall look and feel of the website and related company resources. It culminated in September 2022 with the rebranding of RENEW to Renew Capital, as well as bolder, brighter aesthetics and a forward-facing arrow logo for its branded collateral, all reinforcing the firm’s increased momentum in expanding across Africa.  
Moving Forward 2023
Throughout its 10 years invested in Africa, Renew Capital has remained committed to growing the SME ecosystem of Ethiopia, the country where it first began on-the-ground operations. 
Starting in January, Renew Capital will serve as the implementer of the Government of Japan’s Next Innovation with Japan (NINJA) Acceleration Program in Ethiopia. Run in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Technology (MinT), this program will offer pitch session advice to 30 small Ethiopian businesses and training to MinT, then, after a process of elimination, six startups will be chosen to participate in a four-month accelerator program which will be documented in text, photos and video to showcase some of the nation’s best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and serve as a blueprint for acceleration programs elsewhere. 
This past year was one of many exciting ones for Renew Capital. Learn more about our ten years invested in Africa in our 2021-2022 Impact Report.
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