IFC

We investigated how supporting SMEs combats fragility in the DRC

The IFC, a member organisation of the World Bank Group, established the small and medium enterprise (SME) Ventures program to catalyse growth in fragile economies. Central Africa SME Fund (CASF) is one of the funds to which the IFC provided risk capital and technical assistance.

The IFC asked Steward Redqueen to investigate how CASF’s investments into SMEs contribute to employment generation and combat fragility in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

We investigated how investments into SMEs contribute to employment generation and combat fragility in the DRC. To do this, we contucted an extensive study that analysed the value chains of the Congolese SMEs, quantified the direct and indirect jobs they supported, and assessed the linkages between CASF’s activities and the fragile state environment of DRC. The study combined quantitative and qualitative data by utilising macro-economic and financial data alongside in-depth interviews with the fund manager and entrepreneurs.

The final report illustrates how funds can successfully invest in SMEs in a fragile state environment, thereby generating jobs and incomes. It also provides clear suggestions on how fragility risks can be mitigated and opportunities can be leveraged.