Project:
Impact investment advisory mandate for structuring impact focused venture capital vehicles investing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in North Africa.

Location:
Morocco, Tunisia

Background:
A Middle East-based impact investor focused on promoting job-creating entrepreneurship sought expert advice on adapting its SME programming to the Maghreb (Francophone North Africa) and developing specific strategies and actions to support SMEs in the Maghreb through supported technical assistance and through impact oriented growth financing initiatives. The client understood the Maghreb region required a specifically tailored strategy different than their general Arab region strategy and initiatives, and also desired to tailor its financing initiative to the market specifics in the Maghreb.

Methods:
This work began with an evaluation of existing national SME support programs and financing environments in the target countries, for their efficiency, sustainability and impact, and analyzed market gaps. Based on this and recommendations of how to approach SME program development in the Maghreb a revised SME approach was launched and the client decided to focus on seeding in Morocco and Tunisia several impact-oriented venture capital funds. Our lead principal supported the scoping and selection of local fund managers, and a complete transaction process.

Results:
Supporting a tailored Maghreb SME strategy, the client invested USD 3,000,000 in venture capital funds in Morocco and Tunisia focused on high-impact in employment creation. Our principal   supported the entire transaction process, including coordination with other development and impact investors resulting in over USD 50 million in additional direct matching capital being mobilized and the creation and launch of two new impact-oriented funds. Ongoing monitoring support for investments by the Moroccan venture fund continues to date.