Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BoI) has announced a US$6 million investment commitment towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, to be handled through the Venture Capital Fund being raised by Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited.
The Venture Capital Fund aims to provide equity capital, as well as strategic and operational support to early stage and fast growing businesses involved in the technology, consumer goods and services, and agriculture sectors.
Grow Africa is hoping to raise US$60 million for the Fund.
“Nigerian businesses cannot be built on debt alone. It has long been part of the bank’s vision to find ways to provide sorely needed equity capital and business advice to promising Nigerian businesses. Our partnership with Grow Africa is one of the avenues for realising this vision and we remain committed to the pursuit of our core mandate of providing long-term financial support to small, medium and large companies and projects in Nigeria’s key sectors,” said Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director of the Bank of Industry.
Olaoluwa said the bank’s US$6 million investment commitment was inspired by the track record of Grow Africa’s partners, the developmental impact of their existing portfolio, and their strong pipeline for potential new investments.
Grow Africa said the Fund reflects the partners’ belief that with the right type of support, Nigerian business can become global leaders.
“Over the past 10 years I have provided capital and advice that have helped several businesses grow from ideas into multi billion Naira industrial leaders. Through this partnership, I hope to see many more entrepreneurs realise their dreams of creating leading companies and delivering massive value to Nigeria,” said Adedotun Sulaiman, chairman of Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited.
Grow Africa also celebrated the fact the partnership sees the Bank of Industry support local investors.
“We are extremely pleased with this partnership with BoI, and this is a strong signal of the bank’s commitment to supporting indigenous Fund Managers to catalyse growth and sustainable development in Nigeria,” said Afam Edozie, MD of Grow Africa.