Partner  to map an SME agribusiness ecosystem for impact investment in Uganda.

In an effort to expand their offering, GOAL Uganda is currently exploring entering the impact investment space, taking equity and providing loans to small and medium enterprises that are crucial for the development of key business sectors. Since impact investment has been a space unexplored by GOAL in the past, GOAL partnered with BSpace and the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

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The University of Cambridge Judge Business School MBA students presenting their findings to GOAL,BSpace and relevant stakeholders

The  project outcome  was a synthesis report on the needs of the non-impact ready businesses towards getting them to be impact ready, as well as suggested businesses that may be appropriate for investment, their opportunities for growth and return. These findings were presented to GOAL and BSpace at the end of the assignment.

During the four week period of mid-March to early- April 2016, the Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project (GCP) team was commissioned by GOAL to analyse Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) throughout Uganda. The objective of the project was to determine the potential for GOAL’ s pilot impact investing initiative, as well as how GOAL can serve the common needs of SME s with  their existing programming.

The first stage of research was conducted through interviews with 21 SMEs identified through GOAL and their strategic partners. This list was narrowed down to 6 key businesses for further study in areas that are of greatest interest to GOALs impact investing initiative and their overall strategy in Uganda.

These were   divided   into three categories. Those   companies:

  • closest   to   investment readiness
  • that are near investment readiness, but may still require additional capacity building and market support
  • That provide valuable learning to GOAL’s impact investing initiative and overall programming

The second stage of the research was conducted through additional primary research, business model analysis, and financial analysis. This enable us to examine each enterprise’s unique capacity y, market, and financial needs and their relationship to potential impact delivered. This report is a brief summary of the results of the secondary assessment and should not be interpreted as an overall recommendation for GOALs future impact investing initiative.

Lessons learned from the research

SMEs in the early stage of development that may be trying to deliver proof of concept or even to break even require capacity building assistance to develop the skills of their staff, clarification of their business models and value proposition, and market facilitation assistance. More mature companies require the same support, but with the addition of specialised financial skills, especially in terms of accurate valuation of t heir companies in order to attract investment, and know-how for the responsible management of larger sums of money pre and post investment support is necessary to attain investment -readiness, as well as for companies to prosper once an investment is made.

BSpace’s role

As part of the partnership, B-Space provided  overall technical support in terms of the methodology , training the Cambridge University team , advice and facilitation .

About GOAL

Goal is an international non-governmental organisation operational in 19 developing countries with an annual turnover of US $ 200m. As part of their market development practice they currently work on market systems development in agriculture, water and sanitation as a business and entrepreneurship.

GOAL works with small and medium businesses in developing countries as key catalysts to the creation f employment and income generation for vulnerable communities. Currently GOAL provides market linkages, technical assistance and facilitate access to credit for key local businesses.

Goal is currently exploring entering the impact investing space , taking an equity stake and /or providing loans to SME’s that are crucial for the development of key business sectors.

Goal is looking for support in establishing

  • Structure and composition of agribusiness ecosystem in rural Uganda
  • Business challenges and needs for finance, technical assistance and market linkages
  • Opportunities for growth and return in key identified businesses