March 14, 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Energy Small and Medium Enterprises and Projects (AIME-SMEP) initiative centers on an integrated approach to driving inclusive economic growth, using the potential of the SMME sector in Africa. “SMMEs are the lifeblood of African economies. More needs to be done to harness that potential for inclusive growth,” says Lauri Elliott, Executive Director of The Afribiz Foundation (TAF).
AIME-SMEP will serve as a platform to identify, develop, and implement strategic small and medium projects that directly serve or support the real sector. Each selected project will serve to achieve objectives across several spheres of society and sectors, including infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, SMME, and community development. It also has multi-stakeholder approach to garner the best strategies, resources, and talent to address challenges in the business environment and project development cycle.
TAF will provide a portfolio/project management office with staff to coordinate the effort. In addition, TAF, and its partners, will contribute early stage development expertise and manpower to get projects off to a strong start. “Project and ventures inherently get tied up in early stage development before they even have a chance to develop. Having developed holistic, comprehensive methodologies around project and venture development, this is something we are willing to give and share our knowledge in order to see Africans develop economically. For Afribiz, this is an imperative not an option. Too much opportunity lies fallow in Africa,” shares Elliott.
AIME-SMEP also leverages a confluence of technical assistance, funding, investment and sources to form Collaborative Wealth Vehicles, which are resource and funding instruments established through the synergies of ecosystem stakeholders. CMVs establish ongoing capitalization mechanisms instead of one-off transactions.
AIME-SMEP will be launched at Charlotte Africa Business Week 2016. The first round of projects will be selected, developed and implemented in the 2016/2017 window. General criteria for projects include: 1) Must be led by a private sector developer who is an SMME (under 250 employees), 2) Cost under $300 million to implement, and 3) combine infrastructure, energy, and agriculture/manufacturing sector components.
For further information, visit www.afribiz.org.
About The Afribiz Foundation
The Afribiz Foundation (TAF) serves as a lead catalyst of people-centric economic ecosystems. It is a member of the Afribiz family of entities, which represent an ecosystem economy, including Afribiz Group, Afribiz Ventures, Afribiz Trust, Afribiz Accelerators, Afribiz Trading, and Afribiz Intellimedia. Working as a holistic entity, Afribiz “creates new worlds of economic opportunities.”