RENEW Strategies

7 Reasons Why We’re Still in Ethiopia During the Crisis

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Tom Scriven, CFA
| April 23, 2020

In our latest white paper, we outline seven reasons why RENEW believes a ‘stay the course’ approach to investing in SMEs in Ethiopia is the best response both to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 outbreak and the equally threatening locust swarms.


Investing in SMEs to help them weather the current storms is the best COVID response we know at RENEW. While we make no promises, we join others moving capital right now in the belief that investors who respond when capital is scarce may benefit from more reasonable valuations now followed by improving times ahead.

We may look back and find that the detrimental impact of current circumstances on SMEs and their employees, especially women, outweighs the impact on the physical health of Ethiopians. We see broad opportunities to be investing in SMEs generally, as they are the backbone of Ethiopia’s economy and the provider of the majority of private-sector jobs. Their resilience will determine whether Ethiopia can continue progressing economically and benefit from the last fifteen years of momentum or give up significant gains in poverty alleviation and growth.

To learn more about what RENEW and our portfolio companies are doing to respond right now, we invite you to read the following blog post (LINK). Also, stay tuned for an announcement about an investment we expect to close in the coming weeks and other initiatives we are implementing to ensure Ethiopia’s private sector is able to preserve jobs and even thrive in these challenging times.

To find out more about RENEW or the IAN, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork. Apply to join the Impact Angel Network: Application: LINK

Photo by Ian Christmann: