Fund Design and Management


Ayani designs, promotes and implements performance-based social impact and challenge funds, and applies a market-led methodology to financing and capacity building. The firm’s experience with investment and challenge funds spans the whole trajectory from concept to implementation, and from management to exit, including linkages to and coordination with effective capacity building.

Ayani is actively engaged in the evolving best practices related to both commercially run investment and non-commercial grant-making funds throughout Africa. Such best practices include:

  • Ensuring market-appropriate tools (e.g., a combination of debt, equity and quasi-equity);

  • Financial structure alignment with desired transaction and exit timeline;

  • Linking investment to technical support (including seconding management positions); and

  • The need for highly efficient systems when more numerous and smaller-scale transactions are anticipated.


Ayani’s fund experience includes:

  • Market and feasibility assessments

  • Determining strategic orientation through facilitation of stakeholder discourse

  • Program development and identifying an appropriate range of products and services

  • Defining a strategic and efficient mix of financing instruments

  • Arriving at a shared vision among diverse stakeholders

  • Capital planning, policy and procedure development

  • Development of reporting templates to facilitate subsequent monitoring

  • Set-up of funds/trust including formation of board, and

  • Management and execution of fund activities and reporting.


Learn more about Ayani’s work in this area:


Feasibility study for the microfinance challenge fund in Rwanda

AFR commissioned a study to explore the various options available for a second phase of the Microfinance Challenge Fund. Ayani conducted the study that elaborates the business case around the two-component program, namely an MFI capacity building fund within AFR and an MFI investment fund.

The MFI Investment Readiness Fund focused on institutional strengthening and the development of robust systems within MFIs. The main aim of the fund was to develop MFIs to the stage where they were ready to take on external investment. The MFI Investment Fund was set up as a separate entity and attracted capital from investors who were interested in supporting the MFI sector in Rwanda (the social return), while making an acceptable financial return on their capital.

Agricultural finance fund management in Mozambique

Ayani is responsible for the establishment, technical oversight and management of PIOTAF, a $2.1 million challenge fund focused on agri-finance.

This entails managing the challenge fund, establishment of policies and procedures, establishment of the legal structure, identifying FSPs, supporting the design of technical projects, recommendations for funding, identification and management of technical service providers and ensuring linkages with other value chain development activities.


Aurora fund management in Sierra Leone

Aurora Foundation engaged Ayani to support its development activities in promoting livelihood and employment creation in Sierra Leone, through a fund that would work through financial institutions to finance growing MSMEs.

Ayani created a pipeline and undertook a due diligence of potential investees, as well as assisted in the fund’s loan documentation once investments were approved by Aurora. Ayani also conducted monitoring of the fund’s investments, provided ad hoc advisory services and reported on the performance of investees.

With Ayani’s close monitoring and specific advice, the investor agreed to disburse when it was most needed during the Ebola epidemic.

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