Why Jacana

Investing in SMEs

Private equity investing in SMEs in Africa is fundamental to the long-term economic development of the continent. However it is also extremely difficult to get right and until recently there has been no long-term platform successfully investing in SMEs on a pan-African basis. Jacana was founded to provide a long-term solution to this issue.


Our unique business model gives us the structure, skills and experience to invest in SMEs, build successful businesses and deliver attractive financial returns to our investors. Our central innovation is that we are permanently committed to the SME market. We can do this because we have a unique model that combines African professionals who understand their local markets and can provide close support to portfolio companies, with highly-experienced international private equity veterans (our “Investment Directors”) who commit their time and expertise on a pro-bono basis.


The result is a balanced team where 20-year veterans work alongside African investment managers to structure great deals, grow successful SMEs and deliver superior financial and social returns. Jacana currently has seven Investment Directors with 100 years of private equity experience between them, who work in partnership with our investment teams in Nairobi and Accra to develop talent and build track record. Our local teams are highly experienced in the local business environment and have unrivalled local contact networks enabling us to source the best deals.


What does this mean for our entrepreneurs?

Our unique structure means that the entrepreneurs we invest in receive the best of both worlds. They receive strategic advice and expertise from international business professionals with decades of experience in growing successful companies. They also benefit from dedicated African investment managers on-the-ground in their market who can add-value and provide hands-on management support on a daily basis. This combination is our winning formula which helps us, together with our entrepreneurs, build the best SMEs in Africa, and deliver the most attractive returns to our investors.


What is unique about Jacana?

  1. We are the only African private equity company with a permanent commitment to SMEs
  2. We are the only company with the unique Jacana business model, which we believe is the best way to successfully invest in African SMEs