Linking US-based investors with opportunities in Ethiopia

American impact investment advisory firm Renew is hoping to solve financing constraints SMEs in Ethiopia face by linking them with US-based investors. The firm works with a network of angel investors who are eager to make not just financial returns, but also have a social and environmental impact.

Since 2013, Renew has facilitated investments into four Ethiopian companies including Mama Fresh Injera, the country’s largest commercial manufacturer and exporter of fresh-baked injera (a spongy pancake-like flatbread central to Ethiopian cuisine). Its other investees are specialty coffee producer and exporter Metad; renewable energy technology manufacturing company dVentus; and emergency medical services provider and trainer East Africa Emergency Services.

Although it plans to open offices in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Renew’s focus at the moment is on Africa’s second most populous nation. The company is set to announce three additional investments in coming weeks. Laura Davis, partner at Renew, says Ethiopia is attractive because of the challenges and opportunities it presents.

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