WASHINGTON, D.C., December 3, 2020 — AV Ventures, a for-profit impact investment subsidiary of ACDI/VOCA, has announced the recent launch of the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund. The Fund is a $5 million wholesale financing vehicle that lends catalytic capital to financial institutions for on-lending to micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises in counties within Kenya’s Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) region.

The Fund is financed by USAID Kuza, a USAID-funded activity that develops and supports economic opportunities in Northern Kenya. To maximize its leverage, the Fund’s financial institution borrowers are required to commit matching capital to the FCDC region. In addition to capital, the Fund also provides technical assistance to financial institution clients on financial products, business planning, governance, marketing, and business analytics. 

As a USAID program-related investment vehicle, the Fund will finance clients that are drivers of economic and social growth. Through its loans, the Fund will de-risk the opportunity cost of doing business in Northern Kenya. Those costs are largely related to security and immovable guarantees. The Fund will also ensure access to finance among marginalized groups and create a platform for income diversification among pastoralist communities.

To ensure local participation in the Fund, counties within the FCDC region will support the Fund through philanthropic fundraising, the establishment of sidecar investment funds, pipeline development, tripartite financing agreements, and incentives to borrowers. The Fund was designed to be fully self-sustainable, and its operations will continue beyond the life of USAID Kuza.

About AV Ventures

AV Ventures is ACDI/VOCA’s for-profit subsidiary. AV Ventures provides innovative, catalytic financing to agribusiness small- and medium-sized enterprises in West Africa and Central Asia. Such investments provide better economic opportunities for communities and generate social impact through inclusive, responsible supply chains.

About USAID Kuza

USAID Kuza is an Associate Award under the Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity, a Leader with Associates (LWA) contracting mechanism, held by ACDI/VOCA. This LWA enables USAID missions in the East Africa region to access specialized services.

For more about AV Ventures and the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund, please contact Geoffrey Chalmers, AV Ventures managing director, at: GChalmers@av-ventures.com