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Update From the Field

By Matthew Davis, CFA | Mon Dec 17 2012
I am writing to give you a brief update on RENEW’s upcoming travel schedule and activities. I wish you and your family a happy holiday. We hope 2012 was a prosperous and healthy year for you.
A brief update: Our U.S. and European-based teams continue making impressive progress with their investor outreach activities. Over the next four weeks we have a number of meetings scheduled in Europe and the U.S. with investors interested in Ethiopia. This swell of interest is exciting because, despite its current foreign investment challenges, it means that Ethiopia’s brand is strengthening in the global marketplace. As always, I emphasize that changes take time and require exceptional amounts of work to ensure Western investors and Ethiopian businesses have successful investment relationships. However, as we continue to meet (and meet, and meet) with members of the Ethiopian government, we’re encouraged by their heightened state of awareness about the importance of receiving feedback about how to improve Ethiopia’s support for foreign investors.
We are also engaged in a number of exciting projects with local companies. Here, we have observed notable change, specifically towards business owners’ perspectives around the value and importance of bringing on equity partners. We are seeing an acceptance that the global market is coming to Ethiopia, and with it, increased competition. Once closely-held family companies are starting to open up to foreign partnerships and realizing that capital and knowledge transfer are keys to staying competitive.
All of this, and more, has been incorporated into our “Unwritten Rules” training. We’re excited to say that we piloted this training twice in December, with great success, and will be offering it to a small group in January.
What's next: Our executive team is currently in Norway – it’s cold and snowy compared to the beautiful warmth of Ethiopia. Here we are continuing discussions with investors that we started back in October. After the holidays, we will be traveling around the U.S. to meet with investors in Colorado and North Carolina. Our core team will return to Ethiopia mid-January, at which time we will be preparing for a number of investor trips we have scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. As a reminder, only businesses that have taken the “Unwritten Rules” will be introduced to investors. If you would like to attend the January session, please contact Kathleen DeLaHoussaye, to reserve a spot.
In a few weeks we will be releasing our 2013 priorities – activities that will continue building a new investment bridge between the West and Africa.
Happy Holidays.
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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