Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions are not short of entrepreneurial spirit and fresh ideas, but finance gaps exist as financial sectors do not necessarily have the instruments or capacity to take on riskier ventures. The European Investment Bank has created the Impact Financing Envelope (IFE) to help address this.
At the event in our Brussels offices, we saw how the IFE is put to use as we heard from clients and final beneficiaries who have availed of funding from it. Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, the Bank’s Permanent Representative in Brussels welcomed participants, and Heike Ruettgers, head of the Mandate Management Division with responsibility for the ACP Investment Facility talked us through the IFE.
We heard from Novastar Ventures’ Co-Founder and Managing Director Steve Beck, whose East Africa Fund has invested in Kenyan company Sanergy, whose CEO Ani Vallabhaneni also joined us. In addition, we also welcomed Harald Hirschhofer, Senior Vice President and Head of Research at the Currency Exchange Fund (TCX) to our premises.
The audience had the chance to ask questions of our representatives and guests, and the exchange of views was lively and productive.