The Business Partners International Kenya SME Fund recently went under evaluation to assess the progress of the fund and the impact it has had on revenue, profit and employment in the SME sector.
Commissioned by the Kenyan Government, via the Ministry of Trade, and the World Bank, which provided funding for the Business Partners International Kenya Technical Assistance Fund, the evaluation was carried out by Triodos Facet, an independent consultancy company specialising in the promotion and development of SMEs.
Having reviewed the performance of each of the portfolio companies between 2009 and 2011, the results offered a positive insight into the success of the Business Partners International model and the performance of the Kenya Fund. They highlight significant growth in revenue, profitability and job creation by the portfolio companies, with figures such as:
- Profitability grew by 79%
In 2009, the average profit made by SMEs that had received funding from Business Partners International was KSh 4,7 million, whereas this had increased to KSh 8,4 million in 2011.
- Job creation grew by an average 25%
Between 2009 and 2011 employment increased substantially amongst the SMEs that received funding from Business Partners International, with an increase from an average of 40 full-time employees per company in 2009 to 50 full-time employees in 2011.
- Revenue growth rose by 33%
The average revenue increased from KSh 45 million in 2009 to KSh 60 million in 2011.
The report attributes the profit growth to a possible reduction in operation costs brought about by improved technology, which had been made feasible by access to funding and the use of the technical assistance facility.
“Business Partners International’s success in investing in SMEs can largely be attributed to the focus on sustainable financing, which has had positive impact on SMEs by creating jobs and wealth, and has strongly influenced the growth and development of these businesses,” says Mark Paper, Business Partners International Chief Operations Officer.
“Looking at the empirical evidence offered by the Kenyan Fund evaluation, these results offer a compelling case for the Business Partners International model and the development impact that it can have” says Mark.
Business Partners International aims to utilise these results to further guide and influence the shape and behaviour of their investment strategies. “We will also ensure that these current successes – the increase revenue, profit and job creation – are consolidated and improved upon to ensure the sustainability of the SMEs we invest in,” says Mark.