October 03, 2019

SME ROUNDTABLE WITH JENGA CAPITAL

Agriculture is the backbone of our economic development in Kenya. Through responsible financing and investments in modern technology, we can improve the quality and quantity of produce and products, making businesses more competitive.

Though the potential of this sector is great, agriculture-based businesses have not been adequately served by the formal financial system. The agricultural sector needs to grow, and financial support would play a vital role in promoting this growth.

Firms which focus on production, processing and harvesting require funding to implement their business ideas and strategies. It is this reason that led Jenga Capital, a Canadian investment firm, to focus on agriculture and Agri-processing businesses in Kenya. The organization aims to establish long-term relationships with select companies and provide active post-investment support and assistance.

IIA-Kenya held an SME Roundtable on 1st October 2019, at their Bush House office, in support of its Access to Finance pillar. The Roundtable was facilitated by Jenga Capital, through their director, Valerie Fraser, who introduced Jenga Capital to the SMEs. The organization is focusing on East African agricultural investment and are currently seeking to identify companies like IIA-Kenya to connect them with SMEs.

Jenga Capital invests in existing businesses following a due diligence process to review the companies’ business plans, financial models and company operations. The process will also ensure that the businesses have valid business licenses and regulatory requirements. Jenga Capital can also invest in a business idea or business strategy that extends from an established business.

Jenga Capital acknowledges that most agricultural businesses do not meet the criteria to secure financing from banks and this has necessitated different investment criteria to make it easy for the SMEs to comply. The firm will seek to work closely with the managements teams to structure investments to ensure financial and environmental sustainability for both the investee and investor.