Support for the creation of InReturn
The creation of InReturn is the story of how one Rebel’s dream came true. It also shows a different approach to development aid.
Internal SME fund in East Africa
InReturn Capital is an SME investment fund in East Africa aimed at SMEs that want to expand. While small business are kept afloat by investments from family and friends, SMEs that want to grow have trouble finding the necessary capital. InReturn decided to set up the East African Fund (EAF) to help them out.
It was former Rebel Bart Meijs who started the ball rolling. He loves East Africa and wanted to do something for the region. He contacted fellow entrepreneur Steven Otto and together they formed InReturn. They asked Rebel to help with the project development and now we are shareholders too.
In January 2009, the fund’s first closing was a fact. InReturn is now established in Nairobi and Tanzania. The second closing was held in 2011 and a third is being prepared. Expectations are that the fund will grow to an approximated €15m. We still have some way to go but we are doing well. We learnt that it pays to be patient and that to improve things you have to be prepared to cooperate, endlessly if need be. We can’t do it on our own.
A different approach
We are proud of our work. We think the way to success for development aid is through entrepreneurship, investment and risk-taking. This is a high-risk investment with relatively small returns. All investors – the fund itself is a corner stone investor but there are many personal investors as well – are motivated by a wish to contribute socially. To show what their efforts have achieved we organise trips to Kenya and other East African countries.