Small tickets: Big returns

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  • Date: Thu, Feb 22, 2024, 8:00 - 9:00am
  • Location: Online
  • Event Type: Marketlinks Organized
  • Organizations: SAFIN

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Smaller enterprises in the agriculture sector have long struggled to access adequate and timely capital for their business activities, despite their critical role in moving food from farm to fork. The development finance sector has increasingly focused on such enterprises, launching various funds and initiatives to bridge the estimated US$ 74.5 billion annual financing gap they face across Sub-Saharan Africa. While practical experience has advanced significantly in recent years, investors typically shy away from lending to smaller agricultural enterprises because the financial costs and risks often don’t match the financial returns of these investments. 

On February 22, 2024 at 8:00 am EST, the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) and Marketlinks will explore the question of small investment sizes, looking first at how some investors are using innovative tools to reduce the overall cost to serve small businesses in the sector and then discussing whether smaller enterprises can cumulatively generate more social returns than larger ones in terms of job creation, resilience and sustainable development. Is there a path to sustainably support small businesses along their journey to accessing commercial investments with market returns?



Songbae Lee Headshot

Songbae Lee, Agricultural Finance Team Lead, USAID
Songbae leads efforts at USAID to mobilize private capital for agricultural finance. Most recently, he spent eight years at Calvert Impact Capital, a non-profit impact investing debt fund, where he was responsible for end-to-end deal origination, credit assessment, and ongoing portfolio monitoring. Previously, he worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Banc of America Securities, and Mercy Corps in Kyrgyzstan. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Vermont. 



Wouter Vandersypen Headshot

Wouter Vandersypen, Executive Director, Kampani
Prior to becoming Kampani’s Executive Director, Wouter was a consultant for PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). He also worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee and the World Bank. Wouter is on the Board of Fairtrade Belgium, Trias, and a traditional private equity investment fund, called Invale NV. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations & Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a degree in Political Sciences from the University of Leuven, having studied in Leuven, Tübingen and Fribourg.


Jovitus Rutakinikwa Headshot

Jovitus Rutakinikwa, Country Manager, SME Impact Fund (SIF)
Jovitus leads the SIF Tanzania Country Office to deliver both the vision and Mission of the organization, including overseeing and managing all aspects of the company’s operations within Tanzania. He is also responsible for strategic planning, business development, portfolio growth, and financial management, ensuring that the organization’s goals and objectives are met. He also represents the company at external events and meetings. Jovitus has an extensive network and knowledge to continue developing SIF’s portfolio of high-impact enterprises in Tanzania. He holds a Bachelor in Economics, Policy and Planning