The Impact Angel Network (IAN) is on track to become one of the largest investors in Ethiopia
By Matthew Davis, CEO at RENEW LLC |
Last week marked a milestone moment for the Impact Angel Network (IAN), now the largest US-based angel network for Africa: They closed their fifth investment in Ethiopia and their sixth in East Africa. While this might not be a Carlyle-size deal, these angels are making a big impact. With this investment the IAN is not only one of the largest foreign equity investors in Ethiopia, but they are defining a new type of relationship between the US and the continent of Africa: investing.
With impact investing heating up in much of the Western world, investors are hunting for actual deals that can deliver financial and social returns. The social return on investment in countries like Ethiopia is significant. This investment, for example, will create 125 new jobs and help support more than 900 small farmers in a high-risk area of Ethiopia. On the financial side, the company is expected to have equally impressive results, providing affordable, locally produced beverages for Ethiopia’s 90 million and growing population, the 14th largest in the world.
What’s more impressive is that the US is becoming a leading investor in Ethiopia. While some in the West are still surprised to learn that Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, many more are starting to look at the continent as the next investment frontier. For example, Senator Chris Coons is hosting the 5th Annual Opportunity: Africa Conference this week, where members of the IAN will be sharing their stories about investing in Ethiopia.
So, while this investment is by no means a Wall Street headliner, it means a lot to a country that is rapidly entering the world’s stage as an economic powerhouse, attracting the likes of investors from, well, an economic powerhouse.
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