Aceli Africa (“Aceli”) is a catalytic market facility offering concessional financing in the form of financial incentives to lenders that then provide commercial financing to agricultural small to medium enterprises (agri-SMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The design and implementation of Aceli was informed by extensive data collection in partnership with Dalberg Advisors. In 2019, mid-way through the design and data benchmarking process, Convergence awarded Aceli a grant to help finalize the facility’s design, including developing financial incentives criteria, legal costs, and supporting data and research partnerships.
The structuring and launch of Aceli provides several insights for other practitioners designing blended finance initiatives, including in the agri-SME sector:
● Data collection is a powerful tool for right-sizing concessional capital when designing blended finance interventions, particularly in nascent markets
● Blended finance practitioners must balance tailoring custom-fit solutions with reducing complexity
● Technical assistance can be useful for addressing both demand- and supply-side constraints
● Blended finance can be used to support the development of local markets