Simon Merchant, CEO of Jacana Partners, recently spoke at the Business Council for Africa forum in London. The forum looked at innovative methods of structuring SME investment to make it work in reality, as well as lessons learned from existing SME investments, ways of reducing downside risks of SME investments and sourcing finance for SMEs.
Simon spoke on the practical realities of SME investing in sub-Saharan Africa on a panel with Commonwealth Secretariat Deputy Secretary- General, Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, CEO of the Africa Guarantee Fund; Felix Bikpo and James Friedlander from the AFTIC Foundation. During the panel, Simon discussed the key challenges of investing in SMEs in Africa, including management capacity of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs in Africa can often lack management skills and experience to grow their businesses, which is why private equity works so well as an investment vehicle in the SME part of the market, combining financial capital and value-add expertise to build successful businesses.
For more information, see: http://www.bcafrica.co.uk/events/details/73-financing-smes-in-sub-saharan-africa