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In Andy Agaba’s home country of Uganda, the major crisis they face is unemployment. Eight out of ten who graduate from college will not find a job. Is the answer more charity or even more micro-loans? Not according to him. What Africa needs are more small to medium enterprises (SME’s).
On one side you have millions of people with access to capital from micro-finance. On the other you have a few large companies with access to capital from banks. But in the middle you have SME’s; too large for microfinance and too small for banks. That creates what’s known as the missing middle and why Africa has no middle class, according to Andy.
“In my view no single idea has had greater impact on people around the world than the idea that free enterprise, hard work, and a conducive political system could drive prosperity and reduce poverty.” Yet 84% of all SME’s are unfunded or underfunded. Learn how churches could play a significant role in changing that statistic.
Learn more about Andy and the Impact Investment Fund @ Hiinga
Andy Agaba, Founder & CEO, Hiinga, Uganda
Raised in a village in the heart of Uganda, Andy recognized first-hand the importance of entrepreneurship, hard work and education. Two weeks before his birth, his father was robbed of his car, shot, and killed. As the sole provider, Andy’s mother struggled to put food on the table in a home without running water or electricity. In addition, paying for her children’s school tuition seemed nearly impossible.
When Andy was twelve years old, his mother took out a loan of $35 to start a roadside tea café. She used some of her savings from the café to buy pigs, which she raised and bred to sell to make more supplementary income. From her example, Andy learned the value of entrepreneurship and its role in sustainably lifting people out of poverty. In school, Andy worked hard to earn a full ride government scholarship to attend government college in Uganda, graduating top of his high school and nearly top of the entire school district. In college, he began to dream about starting an Impact Investing Fund as an avenue to invest in entrepreneurs and create much needed employment and in 2012, Hiinga was officially launched.