GroFin, a financial institution specializing in providing finance and business support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was this week announced as one of ten winners of the 2010 World Business and Development Award.
GroFin Rwanda acknowledged, among other aspects, “GroFin has proven that investing risk finance in SMEs can deliver net positive, consistent returns,”
GroFin, founded in 2004 in partnership with the Shell Foundation addresses challenges that small business owners face namely, limited access to finance and lack of management skills.
The awards form part of the United Nation’s drive to build a renewed momentum around the MDGs. The winners, chosen from a record pool of 172 nominations from 42 countries included Cemex, Heineken, Novartis, Reuters and Walmart.
“GroFin is committed to creating wealth, employment and economic growth by supporting businesses at any stage of development across all sectors, that have the ability to succeed and continue to make profit year after year,” added Willemse.
GroFin also notes that the SME sector in developing economies, in particular Africa, is notoriously under-served; severely restricting pro-poor economic growth and job creation.
To date, GroFin has invested $170 million into the Africa Fund which is the world’s largest fund targeting the sub $1 million SME sector.
“For our work to be recognized at this point by the WBDA judging panel illustrates the importance of the small and medium businesses in driving development in African economies.” Said Willemse.
Regardless of whether their loan is approved, businesses that apply to GroFin receive a detailed assessment of potential challenges that may arise in their business and the perceived ability of the business to prosper in the long term.