Small reflections on 2023
Small Foundation team at Powerscourt Waterfall, County Wicklow, Ireland. November 2023
Originally published in our December newsletter. Sign up to our mailing list.
2023 has been a year of expansion for Small Foundation. Our team grew in size and geography, with most of our investment practice now based in Africa: Accra, Lagos and Nairobi. We continued to work with new partners, while building on established partnerships. Emerald Africa Financing Facility, a Small Foundation-incubated initiative, was launched and made its first loans. We have also been implementing exciting new systems for data and learning.
This expansion comes within the context of our systems change strategy and focus on collaborative partnerships, connection, trust and learning.
We look forward to continuing to work with existing and new partners in 2024 towards a thriving African MSME ecosystem. We want to share some of 2023’s highlights below, and to thank all our partners for their work.
10 highlights from 2023
- Launched Emerald Africa Financing Facility, investing in early-stage digital innovators that improve access to finance for rural SMEs.
- Deepened our partnership with ANDE West Africa to strengthen its engagement, connectivity, and SME support across the region.
- Entered a new partnership with Uganda Agribusiness Alliance to expand its incubation of agricultural value chain platforms.
- Published our 2022 Impact Report, applying a systems change lens to our impact and sharing the stories and perspectives of our partners.
- Partnered with impact networks Jobtech Alliance, to support its systems change ambitions, and London Africa Network, to support its community growth.
- Collaborated on two learning initiatives to better support farmers through tech platforms and tools: with Regen Organics and 60 Decibels.
- Contributed to ecosystem knowledge, from leveraging catalytic capital to new research findings on BDS provision to the agricultural sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Alongside our partnership, Founders Factory Africa secured an additional $114 million in funding to scale its support of founders across the African tech ecosystem.
- Developed new partnerships to support the network ambitions of Women in African Investments and Advancing Women in Investing.
- Supported two NGFP Africa network members to attend School of International Futures’ 2023 foresight retreat, and learned from the experiences they shared.