Investment Philosophy
Our Investment Thesis
Throughout the developing world, and particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is significantly underdeveloped. Key hurdles to growing successful small businesses include a lack of access to capital and a limited pool of experienced managers.

At SDC, we believe that through superior risk analysis, creative and flexible capital structures, innovative partnerships with local and multinational development institutions, and committed portfolio support, we can address these challenges. Our investments can then create real economic growth, and dramatically reduce poverty while also generating risk-adjusted returns for investors.

Our socially-impactful yet for-profit investment model allows us to sustainably deploy capital throughout the developing world while significantly contributing to economic development in the process.

Our Approach
Our innovative investment approach provides us with a competitive advantage in assessing and responding to the constraints and risks associated with investing in African SMEs.

» Innovative capital structures – At SDC we purposefully utilize creative and flexible capital structures designed to meet the financial needs of our portfolio companies and help reduce the risk profile of our investments. In addition, these capital structures allow SDC to make investments in high-impact businesses often considered too risky by traditional lenders.

» Unique bridging of Private Equity, operational improvement and business development support – All of our portfolio companies are supported by highly talented investment professionals, as well as interns from Bain & Company and various top-tier business schools (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Darden, etc.). Our team will work with each portfolio company to develop management tools such as operational reporting packages and accounting, inventory management and HR systems. In addition, with each investment we seek to partner with local business development support providers such as TechnoServe Inc, an international NGO which facilitates private sector development in emerging economies.

» Utilization of cross-industry experience – With investment directors hailing from leading private equity funds, top-tier consulting firms, economic development organizations and various non-profits, SDC seeks to bring an insightful and nuanced perspective to each investment. Our current team includes professionals with experience at:
  • HIG Capital
  • Advent International
  • Golden Gate Capital
  • Bain Capital
  • Bain & Company
  • The Parthenon Group
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Merrill Lynch
  • TechnoServe
  • Teach For America
» Creative deal sourcing – Many members of our investment team have spent time living and working in Africa (particularly Swaziland, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Rwanda). During their time abroad our team has developed extensive local networks which provide unique access to high-potential investment opportunities.
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