Syntaxis Africa and Afrinvest launch SME fund

Syntaxis Capital Africa and Afrinvest Asset Management have announced the launch of a new SME private equity fund for Nigeria and certain sub-Saharan African countries. The Syntaxis Nigeria Growth Fund is aiming to raise N12 billion (or about $33 million at current exchange rates) to back small and medium enterprises across several sectors, including manufacturing, agriprocessing, healthcare, education and non-banking financial services. According to the press release announcing the launch, the fund has already received commitments from some of Nigeria’s largest pension funds as well as some private investors. The fund manager expects to complete fundraising by the end of the first quarter this year.

“By providing not only access to patient growth capital to SMEs, but also combining that with capacity building and operational expertise, we are giving businesses the ability to scale their activities, which will in turn will increase productivity, create new jobs and generate taxes for the government,” Adesuwa Okunbo, Syntaxis Capital Africa’s Partner and Managing Director said at the launch. “In addition, being one of the few private equity funds led by a Nigerian woman, the fund has a unique focus on investing with a gender lens strategy, using our capital to influence and enhance gender equality throughout our portfolio companies,  improving the ratio of women in the workforce, board and value chain, which we believe will enhance financial returns for our companies and thus investors…”

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