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Africa is heralded as capitalism’s “final frontier” – as the continent with the world’s greatest emerging markets and the highest concentration of rapid-growth economies … the region where the best returns on investments are possible.
A transformation is now under way in Africa, and global businesses are already clamoring for Africa’s great prize: 1 billion consumers with pent-up, unmet needs. The last several years have seen a surge in the private consumption of goods and services, accounting for two-thirds of Africa’s GDP.
Our approach is guided by the belief that the African entrepreneur can be, and must be, the prime mover in a growth market filled with opportunity, a booming middle class and the world’s fastest-rising rate of urbanisation.
TEF uses impact investing to bridge the gap between philanthropic and for-profit ventures. Unlike most philanthropies, we see grants as a last resort and believe impact investing is a much more sustainable means of capitalisation due to the entrepreneurial rigour that comes with requiring a financial return.
The Foundation, one of Africa’s largest, is a leader in supporting small and mid-sized enterprises as they build capacity and vie for customers. We provide start-up funding, support business development services to help entrepreneurs hone their ideas into bankable projects, and facilitate the creation of financially sustainable operations under strong management.
And we do much more.
We help farmers expand to new markets across borders, push for government reforms that lower barriers of entry to business, help businesses deal with market inefficiencies, strengthen supply chains, promote alliances that pave the way for new industry, train entrepreneurs, and invest in efforts to build much-needed infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, and energy plants.
And then we do it all over again. We re-invest all returns from impact investments in the Foundation to build an endowment that will provide a sustainable source of funding for future operations, programmes, and grant-making activities.
Yet our motivation is more than financial. It is rooted in the growth of the private sector and the subsequent development of Africa’s social and economic capital.
Who are the beneficiaries? Africans on every rung of the economic ladder.