MACH Consulting was a partner to the SME and Banking Africa Forum that held in Kigali from the 13th to the 15th November 2017.

This cross Africa initiative created by Didier Acouetey, the CEO of AfricSearch and supported by the IFC discussed the Development and competitiveness of African SMEs mainly their access to financing.

Indeed, SMEs constitute a major source of employment and generate significant domestic and export earnings. Their development emerges as a key instrument in poverty reduction efforts. However, African SMEs face major challenges for strengthening their human and institutional capacities to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities.
This timely initiative made it possible for many Entrepreneurs to meet with investors, bankers and international financial and development partners.

The Forum format was designed to enable interactions and direct business matchmaking with numerous Master classes and B2B meetings.

MACH Consulting coordinated the organization of a high level session on Financing innovation in SMEs during the « innovation day » that featured successful innovative companies. This session put to the light several instruments that policy makers and entrepreneurs can use to increase the availability of finance for innovation- venture capitals, Angel investors, Business incubations, bank loans, online lending, crowdfunding, grants etc…


The CEO of MACH Consulting contributed to this panel and mainly highlighted the important role played by the public sector to help innovators meeting the constraints linked to innovation financing- uncertainty, the long-term run, the cumulative and collective nature of innovation that make its financing most challenging.
She also shared insights about the financing instruments that are available at the European Union level and discussed the newly created External Investment Plan which aims, inter alia, to address the main constraints hampering MSMEs development in the European neighboring countries and Africa.

The government of Rwanda shared the story of how the country have worked to create an enabling environment for innovation which is at the cornerstone of Rwanda’s success as one of the leading African countries in the digital and innovation areas.

The Forum was crowned by 2 major initiatives that will support SMEs Development: the launch of the African Small Business Initiative, the commitment of the Rwandan financial institutions to providing financing to SMEs at a level of USD233M.

Participants to the Forum had the opportunity to visit Rwandan successful companies.