Tuesday, 16 September 2014 will mark the official launch of GroFin in Zambia. Over the past two years, GroFin initiated enquires into the local market. In 2012, they participated as a member of the resource team on the Zambia International Business Advisory Council. These early interactions with the government and local business owners inspired company founder Jurie Willemse and the GroFin Leadership Team to evaluate the potential of expanding their operations on a permanent basis into Zambia. Willemse states, “The passion that the entrepreneurs have is our main driver to assist them in nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit, and to boost the employment and socio-economic environment.” The event was followed by further market research, strategy and development of a network of local partners. Today, GroFin’s local office is comprised of a stellar Lusaka-based team of Zambian professionals who are committed to addressing the finance and business support needs of entrepreneurs.
Across Africa and the Middle East, GroFin provides a best in-class blend of business support and financing to start-up and growing businesses. These vital members of emerging markets/economies are deemed too risky for traditional finance institutions, too large for microfinance, yet too small for private equity. GroFin Chief Investment Officer Guido Boysen explains, “By leveraging development capital from diverse investors, we are able to provide medium- to long-term financing to Zambian businesses across all sectors. This rare but necessary offering is accompanied by competitive risk-adjusted rates specifically designed to encourage sustainable growth in the businesses in which we invest.”
GroFin’s innovative and proven approach to supplying business owners with pre- and post-investment support services is accompanied by a demonstrable commitment to environmental awareness, ethical governance, and long-term socioeconomic growth. With long-time supporters such as Shell Foundation, GroFin is fostering development in low and medium income countries. The company manages six investment funds on behalf of 25 international investors and funders, has a capital commitment exceeding US$400million and industry expert staff working on a local level to create meaningful investments across fourteen countries in Africa and the Middle East. To date, GroFin financing and business support services have:
- Assisted over 7,000 businesses;
- Sustained over 16,000 jobs; and
- Through the multiplier effect resulted in over US$1.9billion in economic impact.
In Zambia, the GroFin office will be under the leadership of Mr Chibamba Kizito Lopa with additional advisement from the GroFin Leadership Team. Lopa, who began working with GroFin in 2012, and his team have already begun interviewing and advising Zambian business owners who share the GroFin commitment to ethical long-term economic development.