GroFin is a pioneering private development finance institution specialising in the finance and support of small and growing businesses (SGBs). Our investments and business support help to generate employment, strengthen value chains, and develop markets to bring about inclusive growth and improved living conditions in the low- and middle-income countries where we operate.
Since our inception in 2004, we have established a wide network of local offices in 15 countries throughout Africa and the Middle East. Our SME investments number over 700 and have sustained over 89,450 total jobs across several sectors and industries, namely: healthcare, education, agribusiness, manufacturing, key services (water, waste & energy), food & accommodation, construction, wholesale & retail, and professional services.
We have the support of 34 investors and funders with committed funding of US$ 534 million.
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.
Serving the underserved entrepreneurs in the small and growing business sector with risk capital and business support, helping them to realise their full business potential and deliver quantifiable social and economic development impact.
ETHICAL: We display honesty, fairness & integrity
EXCELLENCE: We take pride in executing quality work
ENTREPRENEURIAL: We champion innovation & risk taking
PASSION: We love what we do
RESPONSIBLE: We strive to improve operations & deepen impact
Small and medium-sized enterprises make up the lion’s share of the private sector in developing countries and are a key driver of both economic and social development. However, despite the SME sector’s capacity to provide employment and support multiple livelihoods, these businesses are prone to high failure rates: as many as 70 – 90% do not survive past their fifth year of operations.
Banks and other institutional investors are reluctant to invest in these businesses, dooming them to the so-called ‘missing middle’ where they are considered too big for micro-finance, too small for private equity funds, and too risky for traditional security-based lenders.
GroFin was established with the objective to provide a unique solution of finance and support to SMEs in the missing middle to transform them into formalised and sustainable businesses that support employment and thus create lasting impact.
70 – 90%
of SGBs do not survive past their fifth year of operations.*
With its headquarters in Mauritius, GroFin operates in 14 countries in the Sub Saharan Africa and MENA regions. Each local office is staffed with Investment Managers and Investment Executives who provide front line support to entrepreneurs. We are constantly expanding our geographic footprint and expect to increase our presence to select West African and Middle Eastern countries over the next 5 years.
Our ultimate objective is to deliver an efficient and effective integrated solution of finance and support to base-of-the-pyramid SMEs and to transform them into formalised and sustainable businesses that support employment and thus create lasting impact.
GroFin’s goals are well aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 8 (‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’). As such, our activities – such as providing access to finance, extending non-financial support (‘business support services’), developing entrepreneurship, starting and growing formalised SMEs, and creating sustainable jobs – help us to contribute significantly towards the attainment of the SDGs in our countries of operation.
Against the backdrop of the large levels of funding required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, it is essential that private capital be deployed at greater scale. That is why we consider the GroFin impact investment model critical to unlocking the impact value of SGBs.
GroFin’s business model is based on our commitment to provide our clients support beyond finance. This means that we take an integrated product and service approach which provides entrepreneurs with medium-term risk finance, as well as ongoing pre- and post-investment business development assistance.
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. We aim to bring together private and public capital, combining the forces of development philanthropy, impact investment and development-oriented institutional investment with our own deep segment knowledge.
GroFin’s SME development model has gained international recognition and several awards (2019 Africa Global Fund Awards – SME Financier category, 2018 Finance for the Future Awards – Building Sustainable Financial Products category, 2018 Islamic Economy Award – SME Development category, 2018 Global SME Finance Awards – Honourable Mention for Product Innovation of the Year category, 2017 SME Social Impact Finance award for Africa by CFI.co, the 2013 SME Finance Solution Award, the 2010 World Business and Development Award and the Africa Investor Award for 2007 and 2008).
While we are open to funding SMEs across sectors on the understanding that consumers at the base of the pyramid need access to a complete range of goods and services, GroFin focuses on SGBs operating in education, healthcare, agri-business, manufacturing and key services (water, energy and sanitation). GroFin targets these vital needs sectors because of the impact these businesses have in directly working towards the SDGs and thus their capacity to alleviate poverty.
Such SGBs are particularly at risk of being unserved or underserved by traditional financiers as they undertake capital intensive activities and have long gestation periods for their projects to come to fruition. GroFin’s dual approach of finance and business support gives such high-impact SGBs the tools they need to succeed and maximise their contribution to the community, thus touching multiple lives at the base of the pyramid.
A trusted partner to more than 30 international development finance institutions, development organisations and other private funders, GroFin has raised over US$ 500M in cumulative funding that the company manages through 10 funds and programmes.
GroFin’s workforce of 135 employees offers more than 1,250 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 (South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria – Lagos and Port Harcourt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Egypt, Oman, Jordan and Iraq), GroFin offers both centralised expertise and on-the-ground support to SMEs in the countries of our operation.