African Guarantee Fund in partnership with FRAGG Investment Management Limited have today launched the 2020 cohort of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises who will take part in the FRAGG Impact Growth Accelerator Program (FIGAP). The SMEs pulled from various West African countries will benefit from training, mentorship and technical assistance under the program that is supported by AGF’s Capacity Development Initiative.

With more than 80% of economic players in West Africa being made up of SMEs facing constraints in accessing financing, the overall target of the AGF & FRAGG partnership is to link the selected SMEs with financial institutions to enable them access financing majorly in the sectors of Agriculture, Health and Green Growth.

FIGAP combines financial and non-financial support to fast track the development of impact for participating SMEs and an overall strong credible network. Opening the plenary session, FRAGG’s MD Franklin Odoemenam said that the program will prioritize guiding the accelerated businesses to engage in responsible business practices to increase their access to required impact financing. He added that FRAGG will bring on board impact investors, consultants, technical assistants, experts and providers to support the selected SMEs.

AGF West Africa MD Ms. Adidja Zanouvi urged the selected SMEs to take the program seriously and acquire as much information and expertise from the FRAGG team. “AGF shares the same vision with FRAGG Investment Management and works to make it a reality.  Under this program, we are striving to promote training, mentorship and build SMEs’ capacity to enable them become credit and investment-ready.” she said.

Through its Capacity Development Grant Facility, AGF strives to address capacity gaps for Financial Institutions who are the suppliers of financing and for SMEs who are on the demand side of the financing value chain. This partnership intends to create a pipeline of investment-ready or credit-ready SMEs that Financial Institutions can provide financing to.

AGF will monitor the impact of this initiative over the next 24 months and assess the SMEs’ progress. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have access to funding from a variety of institutional and private investors.