Background to Kinvest
Reg Allatt has served on Tyndale University’s Board of Governors since 2015. Recently Covenant Vision Magazine published a cover story about Reg’s work in Africa which we are pleased to share with permission.
Kinvest was initially born out of Reg’s personal vision to “feed the poor.” Over time, and with the help of other entrepreneurs and investors, the vision became more clear - they wanted to lift Africans in rural communities out of physical and spiritual poverty by using for-profit marketplace mechanisms to build wealth through enterprise. They would do this by bringing capital and specialized training to entrepreneurs and farmers in these local communities. Kinvest is committed to:
- Transforming local African dreamers and leaders into entrepreneurs
- Creating generational economic change through local ownership and enterprise
The strategy is to purchase Rwandan farmland and train local entrepreneurs to produce, harvest and export crops. By positioning these workers to earn a living through farm ownership and operation, they will provide a life-long economic engine for themselves and their local community.
Interview with Reg Allatt
Q. How were you led to become involved in this project?
I view Kinvest as a personal calling from God. About six years ago, I was reading my Bible and came across a verse about God’s love for the poor (to this day, I don’t remember the verse). God spoke to me powerfully at that moment, and I felt him tell me to “feed the poor.” I wasn’t sure what He meant, but there was no doubt that He had given me a command. I asked God for clarification many times during the following weeks and months. As time passed, I continued to ask God and look for an answer. A couple of years later, in August 2019, I was in Rwanda, visiting renewable power projects as part of an investment I had made six years earlier in renewable energy. I was in the office of an off-grid solar company looking at their very poor financials on a television screen when I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “this is what I meant.” At that moment, I felt God say, “this is how I want you to feed the poor.” I understood God to be telling me that rural African villages needed ways to create jobs that would create wealth in their communities and “feed the poor”! Although not entirely clear on how to implement His command, I was confident that God had spoken to me in a connected way twice.
Q. Tell us about your vision and involvement?
I immediately thought of a friend from the NGO sector in North America who should join me on this adventure and told him about my experience. Soon after, he became North America’s cofounder and Managing Director. From that moment, I began working to make this call from God a reality. A couple of months later I was back in Rwanda and had a divine appointment with someone leading a US micro-finance NGO, who would later become another cofounder of Kinvest and Managing Director for Africa.
Although Covid intervened, our desire to lift rural Africans out of physical and spiritual poverty saw us officially launch Kinvest in April 2020. We spent the first few months strategizing and piloting ideas, and by the fourth quarter of 2021, we had settled on our current development model. We would bring new capital into rural communities while training and developing local entrepreneurs and farmers.
Q. What are your goals for Kinvest?
We actively try to live out the gospel daily as we work alongside local farm workers and entrepreneurs. Our goal is to demonstrate the love of God in the way we work with them and use for-profit marketplace mechanisms to build wealth in rural communities, rather than donations.
Q. What changes have you witnessed in the communities?
We’re already seeing lives transformed as people experience increased dignity and self-worth through being able to support their families. On the farms, every day starts with prayer and worship, and in the village marketplaces, discipleship groups have formed amongst the entrepreneurs. We see God’s power working as His love touches the people. We are using a form of discipleship on the farms and with the entrepreneurs as our method of evangelism. We see lives transformed, relationships restored, and emotional lives healed. Helping people find hope is the way to bring lasting change to Africa!
Q. What have you enjoyed about the venture?
God has blessed me in my business. I always knew His blessing was not simply to become wealthy. He has taught me to use all I have learned in whatever way He directs me. Kinvest has been an excellent opportunity to experience God’s blessing while following His lead.
Q. In conclusion, what would you say to our readers?
The world needs African agriculture as they currently hold 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, and the potential to feed over 60% of the world by 2050. Financial assets are necessary to make this dream possible.