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IFC-FCS AFRICA / CASA PROGRAM

FCS Africa / CASA Program is to strengthen the private sectors of fragile states. FCS Africa / CASA Program provides support through a combination  of initiatives that includes among others a  focus on gender (a ‘gender lens’ is helping ensure IFC projects support women in business).

To this end, FCS Africa / CASA Program has agreed to sponsor “Dare 2 Aspire-Women in Entrepreneurship”

 

IFC’s CASA Initiative in Sierra Leone

WHAT IS THE CASA INITIATIVE?
IFC’s CASA Initiative, launched in 2008, is helping design and implement integrated strategies specially targeted to support economic recovery in conflict-affected countries. The Initiative is supported by Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway, while Denmark and Sweden provide additional support in South Sudan and Liberia respectively.

The CASA Initiative focuses on:

• Improving the business environment
through regulatory reform

• Strengthening small and medium
sized businesses and support
institutions, such as chambers of
commerce

• Rebuilding financial markets, banks,
and other financial institutions

• Increasing private sector involvement
in providing and rebuilding
infrastructure such as roads, ports,
schools, and power stations

CASA’s Support
IFC’s CASA Initiative is helping strengthen smaller businesses in Sierra Leone and is
working with the government and private sector partners to introduce regulatory
improvements to the country’s investment climate.

Supporting Smaller Businesses
IFC is helping improve access to finance in Sierra Leone for individuals and businesses
through the Africa MSME Program, the Microfinance Program, the Trade Finance
Program, and the Leasing Program.

IFC’s SME Ventures Program is providing risk capital and advisory services to smaller
businesses in the country, which are receiving training support through IFC’s Business
Edge and SME Toolkit training products. IFC is also helping strengthen Sierra Leone’s
financial markets by supporting the establishment of a Credit Bureau and a Collateral
Registry.

CASA has also provided advisory support to the National Revenue Authority, which
has authorized all major banks to accept tax payments. In the past, taxpayers could
pay their taxes only at tax offices, so this innovation is saving taxpayers a considerable
amount of time.

More

Understanding Innovation in Salone

On  Friday September 15th GEN SL (Freetown Pitch Night )was part of an event explore the status of innovation in Sierra Leone.

Five  Entrepreneurs presented their innovative solutions across the ecosystem in Sierra Leone.  A panel of judges provided feedback to each pitch with the aim of providing them with expert advice to steer the development of their ideas or ventures.

It was quite an exciting evening.  The special guests were;

Tavares Stratchen – from Isolated Lab is an award winning contemporary artist and designer whose multi-media installations investigate science, technology, mythology, history, and exploration.

David Moinina Sengeh – the Chief Innovation Officer for the Government of Sierra Leone is the former Research Manager and Research Scientist at IBM Research Lab in Nairobi, Kenya. His previous work focused on the design and deployment of healthcare technologies. His recent works include Artificial Intelligence, Data Science,  Software Development,  Software  Engineering and Data Visualisation.

The event was hosted at Sensi Tech Hub. Other GEN SL partners included Orange, Cordaid, Insight and Innovate SaLone

Understanding Innovation in Salone:

This event was designed to not only understand the players in the ecosystem but  to explore the intersection of technology, innovation and social impact ventures. By so doing, the event  informed participants about the complex relationships that are formed between actors or entities whose functional goal is to enable technology development and innovation.

Leaders from 15 African Tech Hubs Selected for Programme to Spur Early-Stage Deal Flow

(Nairobi, Kenya, 23 August 2018) – Leaders of 15 incubators, accelerators and seed funds were selected to participate in VilCap Communities Africa, an innovative programme led by Village Capital to accelerate the flow of capital to early-stage companies in sub-Saharan Africa. The programme is supported by the Impact Programme which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The 15 finalists will take part in forums this fall led by Village Capital in Lagos and Nairobi, capped off by a major convening in Cape Town in November, where they will learn and share the latest best practices, including Village Capital’s proprietary curriculum and peer-selected investment process.

Village Capital has run more than fifty investment-readiness programmes across the globe, including eight in sub-Saharan Africa that have directly supported more than 80 entrepreneurs and facilitated 16 seed-stage investments. VilCap Communities Africa will build on this experience to equip entrepreneur ecosystem leaders with the tools, resources and connections they need to catalyze impact investment.

“Passion and vision are important, but entrepreneurs also need to have a plan to deploy capital efficiently to generate a return on investment,” said Allie Burns, Managing Director at Village Capital. “At Village Capital we specialize in helping entrepreneurs think like investors, and we’re excited to share what we’ve learned over the past eight years with this elite group of leaders in Africa.”

“The number of incubators and accelerators in Africa has grown exponentially, but the number of successful startups on the continent has not grown at the same rate,” said Rachel Crawford, Innovation Manager for Emerging Markets at Village Capital. “It’s still hard to raise capital and scale a business in too many parts of the continent, and we know that entrepreneurial ecosystem leaders are the key to bridging that gap.”

The 15 finalists were chosen from more than 200 incubators, accelerators and funds that applied. They operate in 20 African countries, including Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire. The group brings together a mixture of types of organisations, some from more mature ecosystems such as Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and some from very nascent ecosystems such as Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

For more information on VilCap Communities Africa, contact Brenda Wangari at brenda.wangari@vilcap.com.

About Village Capital

Village Capital builds bridges for entrepreneurs who are creating an inclusive and sustainable world. Our programs connect high potential, early-stage entrepreneurs with the people, institutions, and capital they need to succeed. Since 2009, Village Capital has supported more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in 50 cities and 30 countries, and partnered with affiliated investment funds, including VilCap Investments, that have invested seed capital in more than 90 program graduates.

About DFID Impact Programme

The Impact Programme was launched in December 2012 and seeks to support impact investments into businesses reaching the underserved as consumers, suppliers, distributors or employees, in some of the world’s poorest and most fragile states, and innovative business models. The Impact Programme’s market-building activities seek to reduce the constraints in the impact investing value chain and make the practice of impact investing as effective, as efficient and as attractive as possible to investors, intermediaries and enterprises