Friday, April 16,
2021 / 02:00PM / TradeHub / Header Image Credit: westafricatradehub.com
The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) has unveiled a Virtual DealRoom giving global investors information and access to the Trade Hub's growing pipeline of impact business opportunities. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade Hub aims to catalyze economic growth in West Africa utilizing a market-based approach. Through its co-investment fund, the Trade Hub expects to attract $400 million of new private investment.
The Virtual DealRoom was launched on Asoko Insight, a corporate data and engagement platform providing global investors, multinationals, and development institutions with an effective route to discover, shortlist, and engage with African companies. This innovative platform now allows investors to connect with a selection of diversified, investment-ready businesses chosen from the Trade Hub's broader portfolio. Both potential investors and the companies selected are vetted prior to gaining access to the Virtual DealRoom. This activity seeks to reinforce the Trade Hub's partnerships with foreign and national investors in West Africa to improve the capacity of companies to expand business operations, increase productivity, and create jobs.
"Private sector investment is key to development in West Africa, and the continent in general, but finding and vetting businesses is often a challenge to investors seeking to make an impact," said Michael Clements, the Trade Hub's Chief of Party. "The Virtual DealRoom seeks to help solve this dilemma, and the Trade Hub looks forward to seeing how it will be leveraged to spur economic growth in the region." Investors can access the first batch of select deals here, representing nearly $30 million in new impact opportunities. The Trade Hub selected these businesses based on growth stage, geography, and industry. The deal pipeline features firms operating in a range of sectors, including agriculture, financial services, healthcare, water and sanitation, biodiversity, ecotourism, energy, apparel, and logistics. The DealRoom will add over 100 select deals in the pipeline over the course of 2021.
"It's exciting to work with USAID and the Trade Hub at a time when it's allocating more resources to private sector development in Africa," said Greg Cohen, Asoko Insight COO and Co-Founder. "Asoko's research and origination work across West Africa illustrates a wide variety of high-quality, innovative businesses that can compete in the global supply chain, but that lack the financing and marketability to break through. The Trade Hub has selected a variety of quality opportunities across the region, and we're proud to help to help them unlock access to these businesses in order to create new local champions."