The Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and the European Union (EU) were onboarded as new shareholders of aBi Finance Ltd.
This, a culmination of a Shareholders Agreement signed between the Royal Danish Embassy, the European Union and the IFU to allow new investments into aBi Finance, marking the reorganization of aBi Finance as a business entity.
The EU is investing $8.7 million in aBi Finance, together with the IFU who tops this up by $9 million. These investments will allow aBi Finance Ltd to transition from a company limited by guarantee to a company limited by shares, to commercialise its operations, at- tract more investors and create wider impact.
The combined investments from the IFU and EU, totaling approximately $18 million, will enable aBi Finance Ltd to further support the growth of agribusinesses and improvement of the livelihood of beneficiary smallholder farmers through the creation of new jobs and boosting incomes.
It is expected that it will benefit 27,000 new beneficiary clients and create Shs 14.5 billion of additional income and 900 additional jobs annually. Furthermore, the capital increase will make aBi Finance Ltd future-ready, optimize its operations and continue to support businesses to thrive post-Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement.
It will also maximize returns to its shareholders as well as increase access to finance for green enterprises and investments through aBi’s Green Challenge Fund.
H. E. Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen, the Danish ambassador to Uganda, noted that with more than 12 years of involvement in aBi Finance,“we’re pleased that the institution is now mature for a greater commercialization. This will make aBi Finance much more sustainable.”
Anders Frigaard, the senior investment manager at IFU, said the investment in aBi Finance holds a promising potential for increasing financial services to rural small farmers, giving more an option to grow their business and improve livelihood.
Mona Muguma-Ssebuliba, aBi CEO, said that with the acquisition of new investments, aBi Finance has demonstrated that it is a sustainable and professionally-run organization that can and will continue to attract foreign direct investment.