Catalyzing Investment for Small Businesses (CISB) in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s entrepreneurs – the persistent leaders of its small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – are the engines of national development. Over 4 million Sierra Leoneans are self employed, offering goods and services in every village and business sector with intimate knowledge of the nation’s challenges and opportunities.

How can economic growth and development be accelerated through entrepreneurship? Through the CISB initiative, Pangea and its partners will fuel these engines of development with the following approach:

  1. Identify high-performing enterprises that will lead the way on a pathway to growth
  2. Connect these enterprises with capital providers: not grants, but rather debt or equity investments, which can be replicated when they generate returns on investment.

SME access to finance is a key development challenge that is highlighted in the U.S. Embassy’s Integrated Country Strategy (ICS), the government of Sierra Leone Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP), the Ministry of Agriculture National Agricultural Transformation Programme (NATP) and the Bank of Sierra Leone’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI).

Goal: The goal of CISB is to facilitate entry into the Sierra Leone market for impact investors by connecting them with pre-screened, investor-ready SMEs. By reducing market entry costs and demonstrating viable investment opportunities, CISB aims to promote economic growth and development in Sierra Leone.

Target Segments: Agribusiness, Energy and Climate

Enterprise Selection Criteria: 


Objective 1: Pangea and its partners will develop a pipeline of promising SMEs that are seeking investment opportunities.  Result: A pipeline of at least 20 SMEs has been developed by Pangea and its partners within six months of the activity start date. 
Objective 2: Pangea will provide business advisory services and technical support to pre-screened/ qualified SMEs to prepare them for impact investment funding. Result: At least 10 SMEs receive business advisory services and technical support from Pangea that improve their investment readiness potential. 
Objective 3: Pangea builds a robust pipeline of top global impact investors who express interest in investing in Sierra Leonean SMEs.  Result: 12 impact investors have been engaged and demonstrated interest in the Sierra Leone SME investment opportunities through an expression of interest to Pangea. 
Objective 4: Increase the volume of SMEs receiving impact investment through signed term sheets in Sierra Leone.  Result: At least 5 SMEs in Sierra Leone will receive impact investment that allows them to grow their businesses. 
Objective 5: Increase the total value invested to SMEs in Sierra Leone.  Result: At least $2,500,000 of impact investment and technical assistance is committed through signed term sheets. 

Initiative leader: Pangea Global Ventures

Convening partner: Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)

Engaged investors include: Investisseurs et Partenaires; Anona; Boost Africa; Acumen; JCQ