RENEW Strategies

We Used to Give to Africa?

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Emily Ziethen
| January 25, 2016

Recently, RENEW’s own Matt Davis sat down with Forbes contributor Devin Thorpe to discuss how RENEW and the Impact Angel Network (IAN), one of the largest U.S.-based angel networks for Africa, are “filing the financing gap” in East Africa. The following is a summary of some of the topics covered during Matt and Devin's live chat, so be sure to watch the entire interview below.

Since 2012, the IAN has invested in seven small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa, making it one of the largest investors in Ethiopia on a deal volume basis. In doing so, RENEW and the IAN are not only addressing a development challenge, but a market challenge as well.

Considered too large for micro-financial institutions, and too small for larger venture capital firms, SMEs make up what is commonly known as the “missing middle” of emerging economies. Investing in SMEs addresses the serious financial constraints these types of companies face in developing countries. It also addresses a market challenge commonly experienced by private equity firms - sourcing a pipeline of quality companies. By mentoring and shaping the SMEs of today into the market leaders of tomorrow, RENEW is able to provide larger venture capital firms with a steady stream of companies that are run by ethical and vigilant leaders.

So, what is the ultimate goal of RENEW and the IAN’s work in Ethiopia? That one day our grandchildren will look back and ask us in bewilderment, "we used to GIVE to Africa?

To find out more about RENEW or the Impact Angel Network, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork.