British International Investment

Solon Capital Holdings

Sierra LeoneAfricaCommunications & IT servicesConstruction & Real estateConsumer - EducationFinancial servicesFood & AgricultureInfrastructure

Mano River Union focused fund

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

In 2017, CDC invested $20 million into Solon Capital Holdings. It is the first time we have invested into a vehicle with existing assets rather than a fully ‘blind-pool’.

CDC’s funding will enable Solon to develop and grow businesses in the region. By using a permanent capital vehicle, Solon can offer greater flexibility and longer term financing to the businesses it invests in.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

Businesses in Sierra Leone often struggle to raise the capital they need to grow, particularly if they need it for an extended period.

Our investment will enable Solon to successfully grow its existing investee companies and provide long-term capital to up-and-coming businesses in the region.

Solon will also provide strategic and operational expertise to fast-growth local firms that have the potential to expand into other markets, delivering economic growth and creating direct and indirect jobs.

Its previous investments include Flash Vehicles, one of the largest vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management companies in the region, as well as Rising Academies, a fast growing, high-quality school operator focused on increasing access to affordable education.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We will work with the fund managers to develop and implement an ESMS for this first-time fund. The Solon Foundation aims to advance education and promote improved health in some of the most marginalised communities in West Africa. The Foundation engages local communities to carry out a variety of non-profit initiatives with the aim of creating sustainable change.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Communications & IT services, Construction & Real estate, Consumer - Education, Financial services, Food & Agriculture, Infrastructure

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    June 2017
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :
    Fund Manager:
    Solon Capital Partners

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Adesha Limited Sierra Leone West Africa Financial services June 2018 Active
Rising International Education and Learning Limited Sierra Leone West Africa Consumer - Education September 2017 Active
Solon Property Partners (Mauritius) Limited Sierra Leone West Africa Construction & Real estate December 2017 Active
Solon TNS (Mauritius) Limited Sierra Leone West Africa Communications & IT services September 2017 Active
Solon Transportation Company Limited Sierra Leone West Africa Infrastructure September 2017 Active
West Africa Blue Sierra Leone West Africa Food & Agriculture September 2023 Active

Subscribe to receive our latest news and updates