Inua Capital Announces Launch of Impact-Focused Private Equity Fund for Ugandan SME

Inua Capital is excited to announce the launch of its flagship fund, Inua Impact Fund, with commitments of over $8 million. Inua Impact Fund is the first resident impact investment equity fund in Uganda. It invests in high-potential entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that need between $100,000 and $500,000 in financing.

The Inua Impact Fund is backed by well-known impact investors like IPDEV (a member of the I&P Group) and the EU-funded Agriculture Financing Initiative (EDFI AgriFI). The fact that the Fund was oversubscribed shows that its investors have faith in Inua’s approach as a pioneering, locally-based investor that helps fast-growing, high-impact companies in Uganda create value through hands-on support. Inua also focuses on improving access to essential goods and services, local employment, and sustainable growth.

Over the next ten years, the Inua Impact Fund will invest patient and catalytic risk capital in more than 30 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help build Uganda’s market leaders of tomorrow, who will operate in a responsible and sustainable way. The Fund focuses on opportunities that are in line with its mission to create dignified jobs with good incomes, to make gender equality a reality, and to build the private sector engine and investing ecosystem in Uganda in a way that is sustainable.

Kim Kamarebe, Managing Director of Inua Capital, explained: “We are honoured to partner with like-minded impact investors who share our vision to catalyse and accelerate high-potential Ugandan enterprises that are providing solutions for Uganda’s most pressing needs. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Gender-Smart Investing are as core to the mission of Inua Capital as our focus on delivering strong risk-adjusted returns, and we are incredibly grateful to these investors for their commitment to our unique perspective.”

Inua Capital invests with a gender lens, a strategy that aims to correct gender imbalances in the private sector economy and close the gender gap in capital access for women. The Fund will strive to create a gender-balanced portfolio with at least 30% of its investee companies owned or led by women (in line with Uganda’s female entrepreneur ratio), to embed gender-inclusive practices in all of its investees, and to ensure gender parity in its own management and governance bodies (as well as those of its investees).

The Fund will also incorporate agriculture and agribusiness into its investment strategy, as this is a growing and important sector in Uganda and will benefit from EDFI AgriFI’s investment to support SMEs with a value chain approach that prioritizes smallholder farmer inclusion. With EDFI AgriFI’s assistance, 3,000 smallholder farmers are expected to be targeted over a 10-year period through investments in 10 agri-SMEs.

Guillaume Simoes, AgriFI Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company explained: “By investing in Inua, we aim to support Ugandan agri-SMEs with financing needs lower than $500,000, a segment overlooked by equity investors. In most companies in which it invests, Inua will be the first investor, and the fund will not only provide growth capital but also business support services and technical assistance which should allow these SMEs to scale up. With more than 80% of agricultural production in Uganda done on farms under 2 hectares, and as trade opportunities grow for local and regionally-exported food crops such as maize and dairy, our investment in Inua will contribute to supporting businesses that have a positive impact on food security and that improve the livelihoods of farmers.”

David Munnich, Executive Director for I&P Development and I&P Acceleration at I&P, summated: “After launching SME funds in 6 countries in West Africa and Madagascar, we are truly proud to support the launch of Inua Capital, which will be the first fund that we sponsor in East Africa.Uganda ranks amongst the most entrepreneurial countries in Africa, and we are strongly convinced by Inua’s strategy to be deeply anchored locally in order to provide the most adapted, long-term financial and strategic support to Ugandan entrepreneurs. With a gender-lens approach that is at the core of its investment strategy, the Fund will also increase access to capital to women entrepreneurs and set new standards for the private equity sector in the region.”

Inua Capital is a gender-lens, ESG-lens and impact-focused investor managing funds that provide patient growth capital to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Uganda. Founded in 2021 and domiciled in Uganda, with a fully local investment team, Inua is a pioneer in localizing private equity investment in Uganda and intends to accelerate the growth of 30 to 40 Ugandan enterprises into sustainable, responsible and profitable national titans of Ugandan industry.

At the core of Inua’s mission is contributing to Uganda’s economic development and making a positive impact with its capital under management. Inua Capital is licensed and regulated by the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda.

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