PLANS FOR AN EAST AFRICAN VENTURE CAPITAL FUND GATHERS SPEED
PLANS by the East African Development Bank to create the very first venture capital fund for the region are gaining speed.
A team of experts have been talking to small businesses in the three main capitals of East Africa to determine the viability of the idea, and based on this the fund should be in operation by mid-2007.
Last year, the governing council of the East African Development Bank agreed to a study into the creation of a venture capital fund, and its one way the bank is moving towards increasing the volume of its operations within a region that urgently needs long-term funding for cross-border economic activity.
The leader of the venture capital team of experts, Mahesh Kotecha, has said that over the past few weeks, the team has spoken to many small businesses in Nairobi and Kampala, and that interviews have also been completed in Dar es Salaam.
As a prerequisite, venture capitalists look for viable enterprises with well thought-out business plans, talented entrepreneurs as well as a good management team, and that is exactly what the EADB fund will be looking for. But while the bank is interested in setting up a venture capital fund, it is also seeking to evaluate alternative fund structures and the investment opportunities available before deciding on the direction it will eventually take.