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Reporting Our Success in Ottawa

By Justin Reesor | Tue May 01 2018
In early April, I met up with Matt and Laura Davis in Ottawa to check in with our partners over at Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
The main event was a brown bag lunch that we hosted for all in the organization who were interested in learning about the Accelerating Business Growth blended finance project we are undertaking in Ethiopia. The presentation attracted a large group of GACers from numerous departments eager to understand the impact RENEW is having in Ethiopia's private sector. Some of the key results we were excited to share with the group on progress made in the project included:
  • Ongoing finance, governance, marketing, ESG, and operations support of accelerator companies resulting in 19.2% sales growth and 589% profit growth in 2017
  • 2,933 jobs supported out of the ongoing five-year target of 5,000, including more than 2,000 held by women
  • $8M CAD of additional financing attracted to accelerator companies (in addition RENEW's IAN/angel investments)
  • Growth of our IAN angel network to 127 individuals and families, passing the half-way mark of our project goal of 250
  • 25 CFOs and professionals trained in the most practical and valuable finance and accounting tools and best practices
  • 390 SMEs trained in the fundamentals of private equity, and how to prepare for an equity round from an investor
We were happy to report that the companies in last year's cohort of the The Exec's Program are beating benchmark data in several key categories including employee growth, revenue growth and capital secured. A goal for RENEW is to be investing in 20 countries across Africa, and to do that, we must prove that our model is working. While our portfolio is currently solely based in Ethiopia, we were able to meet with several GAC representatives to share about our desire to expand the ABG model regionally in Eastern Africa. We discussed the results we have produced to date in Ethiopia, the continuing need to fill the financing gap in all African countries, and the impact our model would have on the economies in the continent, in terms of job creation and economic empowerment. We plan to continue these discussions and engage with GAC and other potential partners on an expansion strategy.
All in all, we came away from the meetings and event in Ottawa feeling good about the results we have achieved to date, and grateful for the partnership we have with GAC. It struck each of us how positive our interactions were with everyone whom we met. The team over at GAC seems razor-focused on their mandate of international development, yet warm and personable and eager to connect. We look forward to going back to Ottawa throughout the project to continue sharing about our project results and educating those on the importance of investing in SMEs in Africa.
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.

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