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Indicative Case Study: Innovative Finance Advisory

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a non-profit institution supporting early and growth-stage businesses—through the provision of patient capital—to innovate, create jobs, and leverage investments and markets to create resilience and sustainable incomes for rural poor and marginalized communities in Africa. AECF focuses on the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors, with increased support to climate technologies—such as off-grid solar power, micro-grids, pay-as-you-go solar—to benefit the rural poor.

As Fund Manager for the AECF, KPMG in East Africa (KPMG) designed and launched competitions and prepared a robust communication strategy, marketing to both applicants and potential funders. This led to more than 24,000 businesses registering for AECF competitions and increased the size of the fund from an initial US$ 35 million to a US$ 244 million portfolio in nine years. KPMG monitored the performance and development impact of more than 200 grantees over the course of the project, deploying results management systems that tracked management plans, results chains, and beneficiary models.

The AECF Connect unit was established with support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to help businesses receiving grants from the AECF to raise follow-on capital for scale up. Implemented by KPMG in East Africa, Connect provided a range of services from fundraising toolkits and investor introductions to more active support of the entire fundraising process. As program manager for the AECF Connect program, KPMG supported 11 AECF portfolio companies to raise a total of $35.9 million against a 3-year target of $25 million. In addition to these 11 mandates, 45 companies received support from Connect, and more than 70 companies attended one of the Investment workshop events that AECF Connect organized.