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Business Partners International

Business Partners International (BPI) is a fund management company that supports SME growth by providing financing, specialist sectoral knowledge and value added services to viable SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa.

BPI was established in 2004 as a subsidiary of BUSINESS/PARTNERS, to apply the investment model refined in South Africa to other African countries which have some of the fastest growing economies in the world. The company has been established in Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

What we do

We offer unique and individualised risk finance solutions to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) according to the specific needs of our clients in the countries we operate. Management support, business building and value add services are provided through Technical Assistance.

Success is achieved by integrating financing and technical assistance in a commercially and socially sustainable manner.

An integrated and proven delivery platform using risk incentives aligned to SMEs

Along with our innovative risk financing instruments and value-add advisory services, we have developed a delivery model unique from that of traditional private equity funds to serve this segment of family SMEs in the countries below:

  
Description
  

BPI Kenya was established by the International Finance Corporation, European Investment Bank, East African Development Bank, Sarona, CDC Group and BUSINESS/PARTNERS.

As a challenging, but growing African economy, Kenya boasts a dynamic private sector and recognises the role SMEs play in boosting the economy. In the last decade, the country has made tremendous strides in improving the business landscape for small enterprises. The World Bank's most recent Doing Business 2017 report showed that Kenya has climbed 21 places in the 'ease of doing business' ranking to place amongst the top 100 countries.

Deloitte's Kenya Economic Outlook 2016 report indicates that Kenyan SMEs are hindered by inadequate capital, limited market access, poor infrastructure, inadequate knowledge and skills and rapid changes in technology. 

In order to begin to address these challenges, we invest in local SMEs and provide post-investment value added services through the Technical Assistance Facility.

We provide financing and value added services of between US$50 000 and US$1 million (paid out in local currency).

Visit the BPI Kenya website

  

Rwanda, ravaged by genocide in 1994, has recovered to being one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. The country is highly progressive in seeing entrepreneurship as a key driver for transformation, economic development and business growth. 

Rwanda's private sector is currently dominated by small enterprises that employ just 1-2 people. With a population made up of 70% of people under 35 years old and an unemployment rate of 13.2% at the end of February 2016, young people are motivated to create their own jobs through entrepreneurship. However, they often lack the skills, networks, and capital needed to grow their businesses to the size where they can create jobs for others.

Passion, curiosity and government's effort to instil an entrepreneurial spirit in its people is what sits at the heart of life and entrepreneurship in Rwanda. In 2014, we elected to invest in Rwanda and the tremendous potential that exists amongst the burgeoning number of entrepreneurs.

We provide financing and value added services of between US$50 000 and US$1 million paid out in local currency.

Visit the BPI Rwanda website​​

  

In April 2016, our expansion into East Africa gained momentum with the launch of BPI Uganda, head-quartered in Kampala. Using a local, specialist investment team, the company provides customised financial solutions, sectoral knowledge, mentorship, and other value added services for formal SMEs.

Its status as a key economic node in Africa and a conducive investment climate made Uganda a clear choice for investment, as the country has experienced an upsurge in the level at which new business enterprises are being opened and established. Entrepreneurship is thriving and currently contributes approximately 90% to the country's GDP.

Operating exclusively in the SME space, we offer both business and commercial property finance. The investments we make are structured using equity, royalties and term loans, or any combination of these. Post investment, technical assistance and mentorship will also be provided for the business owner based on an assessment of their specific needs.

We accept applications for financing of viable owner managed businesses between US$50 000 and US$1 million paid out in local currency.

Visit the BPI Uganda website.

  

All across Africa, the SME sector is heralded as the engine for economic growth and development. However, Malawi has scored poorly on the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) ranking in position 130 out of 137 global economies.

Some of the many challenges facing entrepreneurs in Malawi – and many other African countries – are the barriers to accessing finance for SMEs, a lack of access to international markets and an absence of business know-how.

BPI Malawi was launched in Blantyre in July 2014 in response to a call for access to risk finance and quality technical assistance.

We will accept applications for financing of viable owner managed businesses between 
US$50 000 and US$1 million paid out in local currency.

Registered as a Financial Institution with Reg. No. 12838

Visit the BPI Malawi website

  

The government of Namibia has recognised the vital role which small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can play in socio-economic development and in the eradication of poverty and inequality, two key issues the country inherited at independence and is focussed on resolving. 

With a vision to unleash entrepreneurs who pursue wealth for themselves and create jobs for many, thus ensuring a sustainable and growing development impact, BPI Namibia was established in July 2014 with an office in Windhoek.

We accept applications for financing of viable owner managed businesses US$50 000 and US$1 million paid out in local currency.

Visit the BPI Namibia website

  

According to a research conducted by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), (small and medium enterprises) SMEs account for 70% of Zambia's GDP and 88% of the employment. The country's continued economic growth is dependent on existing and budding entrepreneurs having access to finance and the necessary business skills to propel their businesses forward.

With our head office in Lusaka, BPI Zambia is an investment fund exclusively geared towards SMEs, with a parallel Technical Assistance Facility that provides value added services, such as mentorship and management assistance.

We accept applications for financing of viable owner managed businesses between 
US$50 000 and US$1 million paid out in local currency.

Registered as a Financial Business Provider with Reg. No. 109472, in terms of the Banking and Financial Services Act

Visit the BPI Zambia website