Catalyst Fund I


Catalyst Fund I is a private equity fund, investing in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Eastern Africa region comprising of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Zambia.

The Fund targets investments between 5 and 15 million USD per portfolio company with the goal of investing in about 7 -14 SMEs. The Fund’s focus lies on growth-orientated SMEs in various sectors with specific emphasis on consumer goods and retail, ICT/Technology, Financial Services, Manufacturing, and Infrastructure.

BIO’s investment contributes to the development of the local private equity industry in Eastern Africa through supporting a local first time fund manager, concentrating on SMEs.

BIO’s investment gives comfort to local private sector investors who are currently assessing investing in the Fund. BIO’s commitment to the Fund can leverage local private sector money.

Development impact:

  • Local economic growth: The Fund is expected to invest in high-growth companies aiming to increase output, which in turn should lead to (i) increased employment rates by hiring personnel as they grow; (ii) contribute to local economic growth by purchasing goods and services from other businesses in the region, which can also lead to indirect job creation; and (iii) pay taxes, contributing resources that may be used by governments to make improvements in local communities. The SME development has a huge impact in the local economies.  

  • Private sector consolidation/innovation: The Fund will add value to its investee companies by providing managerial and strategic support to improve their competitiveness and sustainability. The fund will transfer strategic and operational skills to local entrepreneurs. The Fund Manager will take a lead role in providing guidance to portfolio companies to add value that goes beyond the investment of capital e.g. hiring senior management, advising on strategy and marketing, establishing banking and credit relationships, etc.

Website of the Fund:

  • Investment amount (€):

    € 3.86 M

    Registered office: Mauritius Beneficiary countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Zambia

  • Contract signature :


  • Nature of intervention :


  • Development impacts :

    • 1 — Local economic growth
    • 2 — Private sector consolidation/innovation