Norfund invests in entrepreneurs and businesses in South Sudan

January 12, 2023

Norfund continues its investment in Kinyeti Venture Capital (Kinyeti), alongside the Swedish development finance institution Swedfund, with a follow-on loan of up to 4 million USD.

Kinyeti is an investment company established in 2012 as a joint venture between Norfund and Swedfund, providing much-needed risk capital to local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the form of loans and is the only provider of USD-denominated risk capital in South Sudan. The company helps build the country’s private sector by offering capital to entrepreneurs and growing businesses which support job creation.

South Sudan is a country that has struggled to form a viable governing system and has been plagued by widespread corruption, political conflict, and civil war. More than eighty percent of the population lives below the poverty line and the economy has been negatively affected by climate change, violence and multiple global crises. The SME sector is still young and emerging from the effects of many years of civil war.  

In light of the difficult situation in South Sudan, Kinyeti is a strong and resilient partner for investing in a fragile state. Since being set up in 2012, the company has supported SMEs with financing and created jobs in South Sudan amidst the political and economic instability. 

Vegard Halvorsen

“As a profitable investment company in South Sudan, Kinyeti is well-rooted in our strategy for fragile states. Our follow-on investment builds on a decade of experience and achievements since Kinyeti’s establishment and will put the company on a properly funded growth path,” says Vegard Halvorsen, Investment Director in Norfund. 

Kinyeti has invested almost 11 million USD in 21 companies to date, with plans to invest another 10 million USD over the next four years. Relevant sectors include food & agribusiness, services such as hospitality, infrastructure support to contractors through purchase of machinery, health through purchase of medical equipment, transport & logistics through warehouse construction, and renewable energy through replacement generators with solar power. 

“Kinyeti contributes to private sector development in a particularly vulnerable economy, thereby creating jobs and improving local livelihoods. Our hope is that its performance will attract more risk capital to South Sudan with time,” Halvorsen says.