By: D E Wasake, Principal,

Basic information


From start-ups to growing firms managed by the entrepreneur.

Sector focus:

All (except primary agriculture)

Amounts provided:

$50,000 - $1.5m

Funding type

Mainly loans but may take minority shares (where risk is high)

Key criteria

  • Skills/ability of entrepreneur (including; integrity)

  • Ability to generate positive cash flow within 7 years (maximum repayment period)

Further information

Tel: +256(0)41 423 7482/3/4

Who is behind the fund?

It was founded by Jurie Willemse, a South African entrepreneur and Chris West of the Shell Foundation. Growfin currently has a number of funds. The ones for Uganda include:

  • GroFin Africa Fund. Several investors including African Development Bank (Afdb), CDC, IFC, Norfund, EIB and Shell Foundation.

  • GrowFin East Africa Fund. Several investors including FMO, Skoll foundation, Deutsche bank, and FMO

  • Bank co-investment East Africa. Several investors including CBA bank, Bank of Africa, BCR and DFCU

What is the process like?

  • From submitting the complete business plan and application to an “in-principle decision to proceed further” takes 7-14 days;

  • Subsequent to this, they aim to “provide a final decision to provide finance and expert business support and guidance to entrepreneurs within 30 days.

Our view/tips for success?

1. Research: As GroFin does not necessarily require collateral at the same level as a bank but instead relies on in depth analysis of the business plan, the research/information should be solid and backed up facts and market research to prove the profitability.

2. Own contribution. As the funding is primarily a loan, whose interest we estimate will be 26%-31% (similar to bank loans) plus a “management fee” charge, it will help to have some of your own funds and/or collateral so as to reduce the debt burden.

3. Quality of entrepreneur. Considering there is less focus on collateral but the quality of the business, GroFin will expect the entrepreneur and his team to be strong. If you lack internal capacity, ask a professional to join you.

Otherwise, best of luck.


Inachee is not an agent or connected to this entity, it is an independent thought leadership and advisory firm. The information provided is based on our research and experience. Whilst we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, there can be no guarantee that it will remain accurate.