The ‘SME Impact Fund-SIF’ officially launches in Tanzania

At the New Africa Hotel in Dar es Salaam city center on the 19th of June; the ‘SME Impact Fund’ was launched by Match Maker Group. The veteran Tanzanian entrepreneur and Guest of Honor for the event Dr Reginald Mengi graced the occasion.
Match Maker Group (MMG) currently houses two companies namely Match Maker Associates Ltd (MMA) and Match Maker Fund Management (MMFM) with the older of the two MMA having dealt with consulting services for agribusiness in Tanzania for over ten years.
“Match Maker Associates is the backbone of the group’s initiative. Starting as a private sector consulting and training outfit in 2003, by Henri Van Der Land & myself, 10 years later we have seen great growth both in terms of products and clientele. MMA offers its services mainly in the East and Southern Africa Region and to date over 140 consultancies and trainings have been completed by MMA in over 15 countries.” explained Mr Peniel Uliwa one of the Managing Partners of Match Maker Group in the introductory speeches at the event.
Match Maker Fund Management Ltd was registered in 2011 with the mission of empowering emerging businesses in Africa; to grow with effective impact in their value chain by delivering advisory and financial services in an innovative and entrepreneurial manner. The ‘SME Impact Fund’ is registered in the Netherlands where MMFM is contracted to take care of the business interests of the ‘SME Impact Fund’ in Tanzania.
“The idea of the ‘SME Impact Fund’ was born because in our consultancy practice we were frequently meeting SME’s; who were frustrated that they could not acquire finance to grow their business. We realized there’s a big economic and social impact lost, as these entrepreneurs were not able to realize their business dream. And so we decided to develop a service that would address their needs in registering the MMFM ltd…” explains Henri Van Der Land one of the Managing Partners of Match Maker Group a native to the Netherlands who’s been in Tanzania for over 20 years.

“ I am informed that the feasibility study conducted by Match Maker Group prior to establishing this fund, found out that the ‘missing middle’ gap is apparent in Tanzania. This was confirmed at the Investment Forums all over Tanzania that were attended by MMFM personnel in the last year. Where around 150 SMEs were given the opportunity to present themselves to a range of financial institutions and over 80% of them were eager to meet the ‘SME Impact Fund’.” added Dr Reginald Mengi in his official launching speech in Tanzania.

The SME Impact Fund essentially provides loans to Tanzanian small medium enterprises in the agricultural business value chains, like processors, dairy factories, etc. Their loans are available for those SMEs that add value up and down the agribusiness value chain; who are in need for working capital or investment finance. SIF loans range between TZS 100 Million to TZS 1 Billion. Furthermore the fund under the MMFM team assists their prospective clients with business consultation services on how to successfully run their businesses.
So far the SIF has already provided 9 loans since July 2013 and its portfolio so far reaching 15 SMEs borrowing a total amount of € 1,400,000. At the launch some of these SME’s were present and they shared their business profiles and testimonies via small video presentations that were aired at the event on monitor screens. All the SME’s in our portfolio are from Tanzania and have shown sustainable production technologies across the agribusiness value chains they’re involved in. Plus the SIF targets only chains that meet the minimum sustainability requirements set in the Funds Social, Economic and Environmental Checklist ("SEEC").

“I have come to believe that the SME Impact Fund which we are launching today is one of those innovative and timely interventions in Tanzania, which comes in the wake of agricultural commercialization through the “KILIMO KWANZA” resolve and other public and private sector programs currently in place.
The fund welcomes private and institutional investors from Tanzania to contribute to the fund a call the guest of honor emphasized to the audience present. “I call upon Tanzanian investors to approach the fund management and join in this initiative of ‘Impact Financing’ in Tanzania.” relayed Dr Mengi in his closing statement.
SIF projects that in the next 10 years they shall have financed over 150 SMEs, creating at least 1,000 additional jobs, increased income for approximately 50,000 small holder farmers with promoted good and sustainable agricultural practices among the beneficiaries. It’s only from ten years of the funds existence that the investors of the fund will receive their capital back with a fair return.


Watch the news item of ITV channel here:

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