About the partners

The Agri-SME Evidence Fund is a partnership between IGC and Aceli Africa.

Aceli Africa

Aceli Africa is a market incentive facility to mobilize increased lending to agricultural SMEs. Aceli Africa supports agricultural loans between $15k and $1.75M, and provides two incentive mechanisms:

  • Portfolio First-Loss Coverage: Aceli Africa offers lenders 2-9% first-loss coverage at a portfolio level for loans ranging from $15k-$1.75M. Lenders earn money into a reserve account for every loan that meets impact criteria (e.g., food crop value chains, first-time borrowers). This mechanism absorbs the incremental risk of reaching underserved SMEs while still ensuring lenders have substantial “skin in the game.”
  • Origination Incentives: Aceli Africa compensates lenders for the lower revenues and higher operating costs of making smaller loans ($15k-500k) to early-stage SMEs that might not otherwise be profitable to serve even if the loan repays at a market interest rate.

International Growth Centre

The IGC is based at the London School of Economics and Political Science and is directed in partnership with the University of Oxford. It aims to promote sustainable growth in developing countries by providing demand-led policy advice based on frontier research. The IGC directs a global network of world-leading researchers and in-country teams in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East and works closely with partner governments to generate high-quality research and policy advice on key growth challenges.

Around half of all projects that the IGC has commissioned since its founding have been in the firms theme, and significant impact has been achieved from these projects through engagement with policymakers, private sector actors, donors, and other non-governmental organisations. Through these engagements, the IGC has demonstrated a strategic commitment to enterprise development.