Impact Investing with a Gender Lens


COSEF is a locally founded impact investment company that provides financing and technical assistance to small growing companies in agribusiness, manufacturing, and clean energy sectors, operating in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

According to World Bank Uganda Investment Climate Survey, 2002-2003; Rwanda Private Sector Federation, 2008; Tanzania Development Vision (TDV) 2025, and National Economic Survey report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), over 23,000 companies in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda that have outgrown microfinance have difficulties obtaining investments and complementary technical assistance from commercial lenders because they lack adequate collaterals and are thus considered too risky. International private equity firms investing in the region target larger investments of $10m-plus, particularly in the telecoms, consumer and commercial banking sectors, leaving out small growing companies which are the drivers of the East African economy for they make upto 90% of the businesses. A few private equity firms making smaller investments target tech companies and only those with best exit opportunities. And yet these make up less than 15% of the businesses in the region. Moreover the undeveloped nature of East African capital markets makes exiting investments extremely difficult.

COSEF, a locally based investor with East African footprint is closing the financing gap for small growing companies created by commercial lenders requiring high levels of collateral, and private equity firms targeting large investments, tech companies and those with best exit opportunities. East Africa’s high growth and high impact sectors are agribusiness, clean energy and manufacturing. COSEF invests in the untapped potential of the region’s 3 fastest growing sectors and engines of job creation and poverty reduction. We invest through mezzanine or quasi-equity instruments, using a self-liquidating mechanism that consists of both debt and revenue share. This makes COSEF a go to investor for the vast majority of small growing companies in East Africa.


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Location Nakasero, Kampala, Uganda
Targets Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, United Republic of, Uganda
Sectors Agribusiness, Manufacturing, Renewable energy