(STN-MUQDISHO):_A private equity company under the framework Norwegian Foreign Ministry has allocated 10 million USD kitty for the support of Somali scale small businesses.
Norwegian investment fund for developing countries (Norfund) has announced the project aiming at boosting skills of business people in the horn African Nation.
Norfund in coordination with three other partners has set up the Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises.
The project co-organised by Norfund, the Danish investment fund for developing countries (IFU) and Shuraako a subsidiary of One Earth Future (OEF) will finance the traders with cash to promote their business.
Shuraako, which means “partnership” in the Somali language, helps to connect small and medium-size enterprises to investors to help citizens create jobs
The programme dubbed Murabaha will focus on energy, fisheries, agriculture, light manufacturing and hospitality sectors across Somalia.
According to the organisers, the project is a Sharia-compliant investment instrument and can offer to finance up to $25,000 to the traders.
Norfund chief executive officer Kjell Roland says the programme seeks to help entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and contribute to the economy and create employment.
“The fund focuses on post-conflict and fragile states by building sustainable societies,” said Roland.
The Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund is, seeking to fill the gap by financing SMEs that have no other sources of capital.
“The fund will grow over time as new investors join,” said OEF and Arsenault Family Foundation chairman Marcel Arsenault.
“There are investors who have shown interest to join over the next three to six months.”
According to the statement by Norfund, the company contributed $3 million as IFU and Arsenault Family Foundation (AFF) each contributed $2 million while the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave $3 million.
Other partners are the Development Fund (Utviklingsfondet) a non-governmental organisation active in Somalia and a network of Nordic Somali diaspora.