Business Partners Limited (Business Partners), a South African risk financier of SMEs, has established Business Partners International (BPI) as a new approach to financing and providing technical assistance to SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. BPI has to date raised and manages SME risk finance funds in Madagascar (8.5 million), Kenya (US$14.1 million), Rwanda (US$ 8.0 million) and a regional Southern Africa fund (US$ 30 million) which focuses on investing in SMEs in Namibia, Zambia and Malawi. Business Partners unique approach, developed and refined in South Africa over the last 32 years, has enabled Business Partners to invest over US$ 1,4 billion in over 69,650 direct SME investments, having assisted in creating wealth for these entrepreneurs and in excess of 560 000 jobs in their communities and grown the company net worth to in excess of US$ 300 million.
Business Partners has a development impact (unleashes entrepreneurs who pursue wealth for themselves and create jobs for many) in the SME sector (bolstering the middle class, the fulcrum of successful democracies) and makes profits (thus ensuring a sustainable and growing development impact). Business Partners makes use of the relevant IRIS metrics in measuring its development impact, specific to jobs and wealth creation, development of woman owned business, distribution of investments in rural as well as main economic hubs and the training and up-skilling of entrepreneurs.
Other Impact Measurement Tools
All Business Partners employees are assessed according to an in house performance scorecard, used to measure the business ability to determine the development impact of all investment activities as well as its ability to remain sustainable. In addition BPI is a pioneer fund manager working with GIIRS to best measure the impact of its funds in Kenya and Rwanda, the respective portfolio companies and the management company.