RENEW is an impact investment firm that manages and serves the Impact Angel Network (IAN), a global network of investors who seek to make both social impact and financial returns on their investments. DKM Foundation has been an active member of the IAN since 2017. The RENEW team is made up of financial analysts, lawyers and business consultants with extensive experience in Africa. RENEW reduces the costs and risks of investing in developing and emerging countries by partnering with the development community, having a dedicated presence on the ground, managing an exceptional local network, using innovative structures and investment instruments, and providing hands-on consulting to our investments.
DKM Foundation has invested in RENEW's fund dedicated to investing in women-owned and led companies in Ethiopia and Uganda. RENEW designed the fund to address a pressing need to close the financing gap for women-owned companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, only one-third of SMEs are managed by women (World Bank, 2015). In developing countries, in particular, studies have shown that women-owned businesses face higher challenges to business success, especially in the area of financing. It is estimated that 70% of women-owned SMEs in emerging markets are not being properly served by the financial institutions in the area, resulting in a $285 billion financing gap. The World Bank notes that “addressing this financing gap and investing in women-owned enterprises is one of the highest-return opportunities available in emerging markets” (2015).
As part of the fund, RENEW’s IAN made its first investment in Uganda in Kijani Baby (Kijani). Kijani is a cloth diaper company founded and led by Valerie Muigai and her husband, Mugai Ndoka. Ms. Muigai launched Kijani in 2013. After buying cloth diapers for her first child, Ms. Muigai learned how to make her own diapers for their second child. When the couple moved to Uganda, Ms. Muigui brought the extra diaper fabric and began making diapers for friends as baby gifts, at which point she realized there were no modern cloth diapers available in the Ugandan market. The couple saw an opportunity and established Kijani Baby.