New Ugandan-based equity fund poised to invest $1mLegesi said the Fund is intended to support businesses that have the potential to support other businesses in an environment that is otherwise unprecedented.
The 97Fund, a Ugandan based Open-end Investment Vehicle targeting high growth early stage companies in Africa and managed by Ortus Africa Capital, has launched a $1 million Covid-19 Relief Fund.
“The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development projected economic growth would decline from 6% to 5.2%, with an estimate of 2.5 million Ugandans likely to fall back into poverty due to the pandemic. Businesses are feeling the effects and with the sudden surge in Covid-19 numbers, there is need to ensure economic and business continuity to promote long lasting growth and sustainability as we seek to mitigate the business recession,” Kenneth Legesi, the Fund Manager said, adding that the pandemic had disrupted Uganda’s social and economic landscape as seen through the different sectors across the board.
The Relief Fund targets companies responding to the pandemic in the business model sectors of healthcare, tourism, education, finance, NewWays of Working (NWoW); supply chains and logistics and the digital economy providing market places to businesses.
The 97Fund is an initiative of The Innovation Village, managed by Ortus Africa Capital and supported by Mastercard Foundation through the Young Africa Works Program.
Legesi said, “The Fund is intended to support businesses that have the potential to support other businesses in an environment that is otherwise unprecedented. We are very deliberate on this because we expect the companies selected to benefit from The Fund to create an eco-system that helps other companies survive the pandemic. Now more than ever, this pandemic has taught us that businesses need to adapt as quickly and as efficiently as possible to find their footing during these unprecedented times of the virus while putting collaboration at the forefront.”
The Innovation Village is on a mission to unlock and enable potential through innovation. As Uganda’s launch pad for leading innovators and entrepreneurs, the Village helps to solve the problems facing innovators and entrepreneurs including marketing, access to capital, appropriate mentorship and advisory.
C.K. Japheth, CEO and Team Lead, The Innovation Village said, “Our goal is to grow companies that matter and are centered on solving the biggest industry and community challenges. The Innovation Village leverages innovation, entrepreneurship and technology to deliver lasting solutions while challenging the status quo. At a time like this, we are pleased to work together with Ortus Africa Capital to unlock and enable potential through innovative thinking to drive sustainable growth and economic posterity.”
He said, “Before this pandemic, many people were skeptical about adopting innovation as a way of life. Covid-19 has enabled a change in mindset requiring a huge deal of innovative thinking for businesses to survive. The Covid-19 Relief Fund is here to support entrepreneurs that have embraced this window of uncertainty to invest in sustainable solutions that normalize this new normal in operations.”