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Village Enterprise raises $3.5m to invest into entrepreneurs in Kenya & Uganda

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Village Enterprise has raised $3.5m of working capital to provide first-time entrepreneurs who live in extreme poverty with seed capital, training and mentoring to start more than 4,600 small sustainable businesses in rural Kenya and Uganda by 2020.

Over 760 million people still live in extreme poverty, over half of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa despite decades of development work and billions of dollars expended on the continent and globally. Village Enterprise aims to improve the income levels for these new business owners with this fund.

“Eliminating poverty is a global priority, but funding is limited,” said Village Enterprise’s CEO Dianne Calvi. “Mobilizing private capital is critical if we are to achieve the United Nation’s #1 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending extreme poverty by 2030.”

Village Enterprise and Instiglio are partnering with private impact investors and the United States Agency for International Development’s Development Innovation Ventures (USAID DIV) and the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) on the Village Enterprise Development Impact Bond.

Some of nine impact investors, include the Delta Fund, the Laidir Foundation, the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, the Bridges Impact Foundation and several individual investors, are providing the working capital for Village Enterprise to equip 13,800 rural Africans who currently live on less than US $1.90 a day with the resources to become successful entrepreneurs.

Read Also: Rwanda, South Africa sign mega dollar deals with China

Outcome funders USAID and DFID will pay Village Enterprise and its investors based on results achieved rather than the traditional model of payment upon program delivery. This pay-for-success model guarantees that donor money will be linked to measurable increases in consumption and net assets (as a proxy for income). This DIB leverages a new and innovative ‘outcomes fund’ hosted by Global Development incubator (GDI), which will hold all funds in escrow and consolidate all contracting, cashflow and processing through a single efficient and scalable platform.

The Bridges Impact Foundation through its philanthropic arm Bridges Fund Management supports a range of solutions to pressing societal challenges, including 27 social impact bonds (SIBs), about half of the total commissioned in the U.K. to date.

Brian and Katie Boland are investing US $1 million in this DIB through their Delta Fund. Village Enterprise’s program includes targeting, training, mentoring, seed capital in the form of cash grants, and saving groups. Village Enterprise was selected by Innovations for Poverty Action through a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the program that demonstrated increases in assets and consumption, as well as subjective well-being and nutrition, among program participants.

VenturesNow

COVID-19: Friendship renewed as Algeria opens land border with Tunisia

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Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced that it will reopen the land border between the two countries in mid-July.

The border, which starts in the north at the Mediterranean coast, proceeding overland in a broadly southwards directions via a series of overland lines was closed in 2020 during the peak of Covid-19.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune made the announcement at Algiers airport alongside his Tunisian counterpart Kais Saied who was preparing to leave the country after attending the festivities marking the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

“We have taken a joint decision to reopen the land borders from July 15.”

Until the pandemic, more than three million Algerians travelled to Tunisia each year, according to local media.

Generally speaking, relations between Algeria and Tunisia have so far been homogenous. Although Algeria postponed the opening of it borders with Tunisia in May.

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The Gambia benefits from World Bank’s $68m grant to revive tourism industry

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The Gambia and the World Bank have sealed a $68m grant deal which will go to support the West African country’s tourism industry, hitherto the biggest contributor to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the global tourism sector, causing a near economic meltdown.

World Bank’s Managing Director of Operations, Axel Van Trotsenburg, who announced the signing of the deal at a ceremony in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, on Tuesday, said the grant is meant to support the diversification and climate resilience of the country’s tourism after the pandemic and economic crisis.

Trotsenburg added that promoting the diversification and climate resilience of tourism will help protect the Atlantic coastline of The Gambia from the effects of climate change.

About 20 per cent of The Gambian economy depends on earnings from its tourism as it is the largest foreign exchange earner for the government but the advent of the pandemic had caused the country’s economic growth to contract by 0.2 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.

This was as a result of the global restrictions on travelling between 2020 and 2021, which prevented tourists and visitors going to the country, leading to the tourism industry taking a huge hit.

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