RENEW Strategies

A Look Back at 2018: Words and Pictures

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Laura Davis
| January 9, 2019

As we stand in the early days of a new year, it’s one of our traditions at RENEW to look back at the milestones we accomplished during the last 12 months. The work is not just happening in Ethiopia, but it's happening around the world. At RENEW, we are trying to tap into the enormous potential of making impact investing possible for 'not just the big funds' but for individual investors - angels. Here are some of the highlights for RENEW in 2018.

  • January – We started the year with our annual partners planning session in Colorado. It was a snowy and productive time in the mountains. We then packed our bags and headed to Texas, Georgia and New York to meet with people interested in our work in Ethiopia.
  • February – We rolled out our second round of the CFO100 and The Exec’s Program. We also had IAN Member, Jeff Turi, join us for a month in Ethiopia to learn the ropes about what we do here at RENEW.
  • March – We held our second Women in Finance event in partnership with Enat Bank. We also traveled to Toronto, Canada to meet with a number of our Canadian IAN Members and we held two events in the city.
  • April – We traveled to Ottawa to visit our friends at Global Affairs Canada! We had several meetings and had the chance to host a brown bag lunch to report our success.
  • May – We helped launch Season 1 of Chigign ‘Tobiya! This show proudly works to build Ethiopia’s entrepreneurship and angel ecosystem. We also closed our 10th investment in FC Speciality.
  • June – We traveled to Minneapolis and Chicago to meet with investors and other people interested in the work RENEW is currently doing. We also released our Third Annual Impact Report. Several members of RENEW’s international team got their feet wet working on the ground in Ethiopia.
  • August – We finished the Exec’s Program with three intensive sessions where we invited the executives from both cohorts to participate. We are very excited that the results from this program are exceeding benchmarks!
  • September – We expanded into our second country, Uganda! We also traveled to Wilmington DE and Charlottesville, VA to meet with members and others who were interested in learning more about our work.
  • November – We closed our 11th investment in Ethiopia! RENEW and the IAN invested in ET Fresh, LLC, a company focused on increasing the branding, value and market reach of Ethiopian products into the Middle East and other markets.
  • December – We helped launch Season 2 of Chigign ‘Tobiya! We also finished the year the way we started it, with a planning session, but this time in Virginia. We are planning for 2019 to be a big year.

Overall, we saw growth in our portfolio, and our companies supported more than 2,280 jobs. Throughout the year, we enjoyed connecting with members of the Impact Angel Network in Ethiopia and around the world. We are grateful to our partners in Ethiopia and the Government of Canada who make our work in Ethiopia possible and to the inspirational entrepreneurs leading our companies.

As we take on 2019, we raise a toast to our investors, our partners, our entrepreneurs, our team…and to our vision where people see Africa as a land of opportunities (not problems). Here's to a good 2019!!

Matthew Davis, Tom Scriven, Laura Davis, Justin Reesor, Erin O’Connor, Emily Ziethen, Neteesh Dohare, Prasoon Raghuwanshi, Lulit Negash, Renata Makhoul, Yoseph Getachew, Tsegamlak Solomon, Kirsten Newman, Teddy Fantahun, Dagmawit Shiferaw, Filseta Asrat, Mary Adoi

To find out more about RENEW or the IAN, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork. Be sure to check out our upcoming events, including our upcoming Econ-Tourism Trip.