Pan African lender to inject 33 mln USD for start-ups

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NAIROBI, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) — The Nairobi-based Pan African lender, African Guarantee Fund, on Thursday announced 3.3 billion shillings (about 33 million U.S. dollars) capital injection to stimulate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in the continent.

Felix Bikpo, group chief executive officer of the fund, said the new financing will boost the growth of women and youth-led start-ups in Africa and enable them to become key drivers of the continent’s socio-economic transformation.

“We are excited about the confidence our shareholders and partners have in what we are doing in Africa,” said Bikpo, adding that the lender has so far disbursed about 1.7 billion U.S. dollars to small and medium-sized enterprises that helped create an additional 100,000 jobs.

Bikpo said that African Guarantee Fund aims to provide financial guarantee to over 10,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa annually through a partnership with local and foreign lenders.

He said that about 60 percent of start-ups across diverse economic sectors that have benefited from the Pan African lender’s capital injection are owned by youth, while some 30 percent are owned by women.

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