When capital is what you need. How do you get it?



The African Economic Outlook 2012, a joint UN and African Development Bank (AfDB) comprehensive analysis of the economic, social and political developments in the region blames Uganda’s higher youth unemployment on, among others, limited access to financial and technical resources. Also according to a survey by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) on global entrepreneurial activity,

although the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America are far ahead of Europe in starting new businesses, however 70% to 80% of these new businesses in regions fail within their second year of start. Few start-ups have the potential to make an impact on jobs and growth, and a negligible number benefit from venture capital, with the vast majority reliant on informal funding. It’s on the back ground of such reports and our long interaction with young entrepreneurs that the Mara Foundation has designed the Mara Launch Uganda Fund, a Venture Capital fund that provides financing for start-up businesses or already existing business with high risk but high growth potential to effectively address the financing dilemma facing young entrepreneurs.

As a Venture Capital firm, the fund serves entrepreneurs with an alternative source of financing different from traditional bank loans or debt financing. The fund invests in enterprises that have a seasoned management team and very aggressive growth plans.

The Fund will provide risk capital between $2,000 and $4,000 to high-growth enterprises in various sectors which show good growth, in return for an equity share in the business as a minority partner. The fund will consider a number of investment vehicles including risk capital in the form of debt but later converted into equity.

The fund responds to the challenge faced in raising capital by Uganda-based young entrepreneurs in the different economic sectors, thus addressing some of the economic predicaments facing the region, such as youth unemployment. To acquire the funds, entrepreneurs need to meet the investment criteria starting with an elaborate business plan that shows promise, and illustrates the gaps that need to be filled with financing. For more details on how to access the funding from Mara Launch Uganda Fund, follow this link.

Beyamba Gilbert

Fund Manager

Mara Launch Uganda Fund