About the event
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. The first session of the ‘Backing the Middle’ webinar series explores this notion, 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, Agriculture Finance Team lead, USAID (Moderator)
|Songbae leads efforts at the 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, Executive Director, Kampani
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.
Event dates: 22 February 2024
Organizer: SAFIN | USAID Marketlinks