British International Investment (BII) and INOKS Capital have announced the launch of a $25 million trade access program to strengthen trade across the African continent by backing the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
This is contained in a press release by the British International Investment seen by Nairametrics.
The Trade Access Program (TAP) is launched with $25 million capital from British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. The capital will be used to fund SMEs and trade intermediates such as Agritechs, Fintechs, and Alternative Trade Financiers in Africa.
The program aims to help extend credit to businesses in the Agri/Food sector, including aggregators, e-commerce platforms, SME-focused banks, and non-bank financial institutions. According to the investment company, the capital will increase trade and food supply, help to develop local infrastructure, and rejuvenate market-enhancing corporates that meet consumer and business needs. This will in turn foster long-term economic growth and contribute to a productive, sustainable, and inclusive future.
In addition to fostering trade, job creation, local income, and positive impact generation on climate change, TAP is aimed to boost economic inclusion by specifically seeking to improve access to finance for women by targeting investments that qualify for the 2X Challenge. The 2X criteria will be used to determine whether an enterprise can be considered woman-owned, woman-led or woman-supporting.
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What they are saying
In welcoming the launch of the program, Nabil Marc Abdul-Massih, the CEO of INOKS Capital, said: “Securing this investment from BII entrusts all our Team to utilize its DNA, field-tested know-how and capabilities to attain the investment purpose. Through TAP’s efficient and impactful trade enhancing investments in Africa, we endeavour to deliver on this partnership in synergy with BII’s broad network and resources much needed social uplifting and economic growth.”
In the same vein, Ivan Agabekov, the CFO of INOKS Capital, said that: “Our Team is eager to proficiently deploy the innovative toolset that TAP provides in filling the gap of capital needed to enhance trade through private sector growth, and not least supporting gender equality and climate change mitigation. These are much pertinent powerful motivators given the current supply chains and food security outlooks”.
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Admir Imami, Head of Trade & Supply Chain Finance, British International Investment, said: “Small traders are vital to any supply chain but are often excluded from accessing formal trade finance products such as Letter of Credit, Bank Guarantee, Receivables Finance or Structured Trade Finance. This new Trade Access platform, which BII is launching with INOKS Capital as its first partner, is an innovative financing program and solution that will enable SMEs and trade intermediaries in Africa to access much-needed working capital. The platform will also support women-owned and led SMEs while also backing climate positive trade, which will help boost productivity across local and vital value chains, increase food security and accelerate sustainable and inclusive economic growth.”
“This partnership illustrates BII’s commitment to deploying patient and flexible capital toward addressing market challenges, and I am proud of the dedicated effort by the BII team in structuring this innovative program that will help in meeting critical business and keep trade flowing across the continent,” he added.
What you should know
- British International Investment (BII) is the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. BII is a trusted investment partner to businesses in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. It invests between £1.5 and £2 billion every year to support the UK Government’s Clean Green Initiative and to create productive, sustainable, and inclusive economies in our markets.
- British International Investment plays a key role in the UK Government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.
- INOKS Capital is a prudentially regulated Swiss-based asset manager. Since 2006, more than USD6bn have been deployed in customised financing solutions to companies predominantly active in the Agriculture/Food sectors, all in accordance with defined sustainable and impact criteria.