InReturn ups target for East Africa Fund

Having originally set out to raise €10m by the end of the year from both institutions and individuals, InReturn Capital is upping its target in response to strong demand.

InReturn Capital, a joint venture of Dutch and Kenyan enterprises, and Dutch development organisation Cordaid, has told PEO that following a steady inflow of commitments for its East Africa Fund, it has revised its target from €10 million ($15 million) to €15 million.

InReturn East Africa Fund, a Dutch limited liability partnership, was launched at the beginning of July to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises in East Africa. The focus of the fund is to provide both social and financial returns, creating economic growth and durable employment.

The fund has already garnered around €5 million in commitments from both private and institutional investors. Dutch bank Rabobank has joined cornerstone investor Cordaid, a Dutch development agency.

“We are now looking at increasing the ceiling on the fund to between €12 million and €15 million,” Steve Otto, InReturn’s managing partner, told PEO.

The fund’s mission of creating sustainable employment in developing economies is tied to the goal of generating financial returns of between 10 and 15 percent. 

“There is no shortage of SMEs looking for finance in our target geographies,” said Otto, “The challenge for us will be in guiding the local entrepreneurs through the process of setting up professional corporate structures.”

The East African countries Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, have had an average GDP growth rate of more than 6 percent in the last few years. Uganda has a fast-growing agricultural processing sector, while Kenya offers opportunities in telecommunications and financial services.