Over the last four (4) months, the Mirepa Team on behalf of SNV Ghana, conducted a market study to assess the availability of blended finance options for co-funding and de-risking mechanisms for GrEEn businesses (Agribusiness, Renewable Energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene-WASH) in the Ashanti and Western regions.
The findings of the study were presented by Sandrah Baafi and Esienam Agbenorto to a gathering of ecosystem players at the 3rd edition of the annual GrEEn Investment Forum organized by SNV on Thursday, 3rd November 2022 in the Ashanti region.
The key insights from the study are:
- 1. Blended finance is still not well understood by both the suppliers and MSMEs.
- 2. MSMEs access to finance has largely unchanged since 2020 when the initial study was done.
- 3. Among GrEEn sectors, agriculture remains the dominant target and recipient of blended finance options.
- 4. The business model of microcredit suppliers generally targets female clientele.
- 5. Blended finance options like capacity building and portfolio management are less helpful without funding to stimulate MSMEs operations.
- 6. The terms of available blended finance options are not always favorable.
Mirepa SME Ventures portfolio company, Wear Ghana, launched a new experience center in Dzorwulu, a suburb of Accra, strategically located off one of the major highways in Accra. This brings the number of physical locations the company has to two (2). Although a majority of the company’s business is generated online and via virtual engagement, Wear Ghana finds that the physical experience centers compliments its eCommerce business very well.
Wear Ghana is a well-known brand in Ghana that employs unique infusion of African and contemporary western design to create new categories of apparel lines that appeal to a wide demographic of customers willing to connect to the African identity. The company is a female-led and owned business that currently employs over 20 women in its workforce while strengthening the livelihoods of many others in its supply chain.
Mirepa SME Ventures (MSV) is a value addition vehicle that supports local businesses by making small investments of USD 10K – USD 100K from Mirepa Capital’s balance sheet. The team works with dedicated entrepreneurs who run businesses with high growth potential and the ability to scale their products and services across borders.
This past week, members of the Mirepa team, welcomed 6 entrepreneurs/fellows from the Ashesi University Venture Incubator (AVI) to the Investment House (Airport West, Accra). The Mirepa team supported the AVI fellows to undertake Financial Simulations that would prepare them to become investment ready.
The objective of the Financial simulations was to imitate the process of acquiring funding where fellows presented their pitches to a panel made up of Mirepa team and obtained feedback on their approach to access funds, a great learning process for their businesses to prepare for real world experiences.
According to the Ashesi University website, the AVI is a student-led incubator set up to support student-run businesses by providing them with the resources and funding that they will require in their early stages, in order to grow into fully-fledged companies. Ventures accepted into the incubator can be at any level of maturity, from simple ideas to existing businesses.
Present at the event were members from the Mirepa Capital team, the Mirepa Investment Advisors team as well as Nelly Sai Palm from the Mirepa US team. This initiative is part of a broader effort by Mirepa to help develop and strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Earlier this month, members of the Mirepa Capital and Mirepa Investment Advisors team visited women producer groups and cooperatives in three regions in northern Ghana. The membership of these producer groups and cooperatives collectively exceeded over 2000 and formed critical parts of the supply chains of female-led/owned businesses that the Mirepa team is supporting through one of its interventions for a client.
It is heartwarming to know that our interventions go to improve the livelihoods of these women, who work in various agricultural value chains including rice and shea as well as basket production. Mirepa’s support is a value-chain driven approach that strengthens several supply chains by helping the businesses that source from them to stabilize and scale their operations. In all 10 female-led/owned businesses that work with these producer groups and cooperatives are being supported by Mirepa.
This value chain approach forms a key part of Mirepa’s gender lens and job creation strategies for its investments. By investing in businesses using this approach, significantly larger numbers of indirect jobs and livelihoods are impacted.