Baobab Capital (Pty) Ltd. is a private equity firm that invests in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Namibia and the SADC region. Established with a vision to support the Namibian SME sector, fostering a strong entrepreneurial spirit and mindset, and become a leading growth enabler for Namibia and Africa.
In 2016 the Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index found that Namibia ranked first in Africa and 42nd out of 85 countries in the world on the state of entrepreneurship. In the same year data collected by the Namibian government reflected that SMEs contribute around 12 percent to GDP and estimated that there are 337,000 SMEs in the country, which employs close to one-third of the workforce.
However, lack of access to finance and bridging capital, remain major obstacles for SMEs. Baobab Capital founded and manages the Baobab Growth Fund and Baobab ESG as a way to inject capital into SMEs and leverage capital from development finance and multilateral institutions for sustainable development.
The Baobab Growth Fund seeks to invest in companies at the early stages of development and which show strong growth potential; have been operating for two years or longer; requires an investment between N$ 4 Million ñ N$ 14 Million. The fund is sector agnostic but targets the higher growth sectors in Namibia such as ICT, financial services, retail, health, agribusiness, manufacturing and transport and logistics.
The Fund achieved its final close at the end of October 2017 with an investment of N$140m from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).
Baobab ESG focuses on providing sustainable development advisory and fund management services across Africa to the private sector, development finance institutions, and bilateral and multilateral donors. With the belief that the natural environment is the backbone of Africaís economies and interaction with the social dimension unlocks livelihood and economic potential and benefits, ESG turns challenges into opportunities through project management, monitoring and evaluation, environmental and social impact assessment, policy review and development and, feasibility analysis and natural resource enterprise development.