About GroFin

We support entrepreneurs

We support entrepreneurs

GroFin is a specialist, impact-driven financier. We help entrepreneurs succeed by providing them expert advice, continuous guidance, and financing to grow their businesses.

Why we support entrepreneurs and SMEs

Why we do it

We believe that SMEs need more than finance to succeed. And that growing small businesses to create sustainable jobs is the most powerful driver of social and economic development that truly improves people’s lives.

We aim to be the leading financial services institution to entrepreneurs of successful small to medium-sized enterprises – a reputable organisation that everyone wants to be associated with, do business with and refer clients to, due to our best in-sector performance.

Our Approach

GroFin offices in Africa and Middle East

GroFin’s business model is based on our commitment to provide our clients with support beyond finance. A deep understanding of the factors that drive SME success is central to this model, as is the steadfast belief that SME success leads to impact success.

Since its inception in 2004, GroFin has invested in 768 SMEs and sustained nearly 77,960 jobs. Headquartered in Mauritius, we offer financing and support to SGBs in 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East. We focus on small businesses operating in education, healthcare, agri-processing, manufacturing and key services (water, energy and sanitation).

GroFin Awards

Our People

GroFin’s workforce of 96 employees offers more than 647 years of combined experience in finance and the specialised support of growing businesses. With our headquarters in Mauritius and investment offices across 15 locations in Africa and the Middle East, GroFin offers both centralised expertise and on-the-ground support to SMEs in the countries of our operation.

AbdalGhany Al-Hassani
Investment Manager: Iraq

AbdalGhany has 9 years of experience in development finance and project management. He joined GroFin in 2016. Abdal has a master degree in master of management from Hasselt University, Belgium.

Alfinaz Murad
Investment Executive: Jordan

Alfinaz has over 20 years of experience in the finance and investment industry. 

Before joining GroFin in 2012 to launch its operations in Jordan, she consulted for United Advisors on projects for USAID and served as vice-president and COO at Jordinvest. She holds a BA degree in Economics from Jordan University.
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Arigye M. Munyangabo
Investment Executive: Uganda

Arigye has over 16 years of experience in credit and finance.

She joined GroFin in 2012 after working as a credit manager at DCFU bank and business support manager at DCFU Leasing Company. Arigye holds a BSc in Agricultural Economics from Makerere University and an MSc in Financial Management from the University of London.
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Ashraf Esmael
Chief Investment Officer (Middle East)

Ashraf has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance, banking, and development finance.

He joined GroFin in 2016 and previously lead the Mauritius Leasing Company and Bramer Bank. He studied IT and Business Management at the MCCI Business School and holds an MBA from the University of Surrey.
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Christian Bugabo
Investment Executive: Rwanda

Christian has 13 years of experience in impact investing, credit, and portfolio management.

Before joining GroFin in 2011, he worked as a credit analyst and senior relationship manager at Fina Bank. Christian holds a bachelor’s degree in Credit Management from the Tshwane University of Technology.
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Cobus Wells
Chief Investment Officer (Africa)

Cobus joined GroFin in 2020 after spending 28 years in banking.

He spent most of his career with Standard Bank and joined Absa (Barclays) in 2014 as regional head of business banking and then lead its pan-African agribusiness unit. Cobus holds a Bachelor's in Management & Leadership from the University of the Free State. ​
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Femi Salami
Senior Investment Manager: Nigeria

Femi has over 30 years of public and private sector experience, including 20 years in finance and credit.

Before joining GroFin in 2007, he headed up the Financial Advisory Group at Intercontinental Capital Markets. Femi holds a master’s degree in project development from the University of Ibadan and is a qualified chartered accountant.
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Germin Benyamin
Investment Executive: Egypt

Germin joined GroFin in 2021 after over 15 years in the asset management industry in the Gulf and Egypt.

She has experience in capital markets and investments. Before GroFin, she served as an investment manager for Emirates Retakaful. Germin holds a master’s degree in Global Finance from IE Business School and is a CFA.​
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Ishmael Managa
Head of IST

Ishmael Managa has 8 years of experience as an IT specialist and entrepreneur.

Before joining GroFin in 2022, he served as a senior specialist at the South African Reserve Bank and consulted for PPS and Gijima. Ishmael is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE).
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Johan van der Westhuizen
Finance Executive - Funds and Programs

Johan has 16 years of financial management and business leadership experience across multiple industries. 

He joined GroFin in 2016 after serving roles including group financial manager at Capitalworks and Smart Village (Multichoice). Johan holds a BAcc (Hons) from the University of Pretoria and is a CA(SA).
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Jurie Willemse
Chairman

Jurie has over 25 years of experience in managing successful enterprises across sectors such as manufacturing, clean energy, real estate, IT, and services.

He founded GroFin in South Africa in 2004 and served as its CEO until 2016. He studied Economics at the University of Pretoria, where he also obtained an MBA.
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Lizel Channon
Credit Risk Executive

Lizel has nearly 20 years of experience in credit management, including at Absa Bank and the Land and Development Bank of South Africa.

She joined GroFin in 2006. Lizel holds two BA (Hons) degrees in Social Sciences from the Universities of Pretoria and South Africa, as well as a diploma in International Credit Management.
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Kevin Kageuka
Credit Administration Manager: Tanzania

Kevin has a decade of experience in the credit industry.

Before joining GroFin in 2018, he served as Credit Manager at EFC Microfinance Bank Tanzania. He holds a BComm (Hons) in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the University of Dar Es Salaam.
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Malan Kouame
Senior Investment Manager: Ivory Coast & Senegal

Malan has over 10 years of experience in the Ivorian finance industry and has been involved in providing technical assistance to SMEs in various sectors. 

He joined GroFin in 2016 after working as a credit risk analyst and relationship banking Officer with various banks. Malan holds a MSc Finance from Emlyon business school and a Bachelor’s degree in management from National University of Côte d’ivoire.
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Marius Ittmann
Business Support Executive

Marius has more than 15 years in financial management, business and project management assurance, and 7 years in business banking.

Before joining GroFin in 2020, he worked for BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Absa Bank. Marius holds a BAcc (Hons) from the University of Pretoria and is a registered CA(SA).
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Rita Odero
Investment Executive: Kenya

Rita has over 25 years of experience in banking and has been working with small and medium-sized businesses since 2003.

Before joining GroFin in 2015, she worked as a Relationship Manager at both Standard Chartered Bank and Fina Bank. Rita holds a BComm degree from Daystar University.
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Sami Al-Hassan
Investment Executive: Oman

Sami has nearly 25 years of experience in the Omani finance sector.

He joined GroFin in 2007, helping to establish and then lead its operations in Oman. Prior to that, he worked as a corporate relationship manager at Bank Dhofar. Sami holds a degree in Business Administration from Seattle University.
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Samuel Sedegah
Investment Executive: Ghana

Samuel has over 15 years of experience in the Ghanaian financial sector.

Before joining GroFin in 2011, he served as Deputy Head of Credit Risk Management at uniBank. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Coast and an EMBA in Banking and Finance from the Paris Graduate School of Management. 
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Sharmila Kowlessur
Head of Marketing

Sharmila has over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications.

Before joining GroFin in 2015, she served as Head of Corporate Affairs at Barclays Bank in Mauritius and Head of Marketing and Communications at Harel Mallac. Sharmila holds a BSc degree in Pharmacy and an MBA from the University of Cape Town.
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Trevor Conradie
Investment Executive: Southern Africa

Trevor has over 28 years of experience in managing investments in SMEs.

Before joining GroFin in 2014 he headed various regional offices at Business Partners gaining valuable experience in new investments, portfolio management, valuations, equity investments, and business support.
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William Morkel
Acting CEO

William was appointed acting CEO in June 2022. Prior to this, William has been serving as GroFin CFO since 2009 and has experience in micro-finance and business process engineering at companies like Hogg Holdings and Sonae Novobord.

William holds a BComm degree from the University of Pretoria and is a member of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants.
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