Luxembourg and Lomé, 22 December 2023 - eco.business Fund, a biodiversity conservation-focused impact investor with operations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has joined forces with the SANAD Fund for MSMEs, a leading impact investor in Middle East/North Africa (MENA) and selected countries in SSA region to announce a landmark partnership with Ecobank Group. This strategic collaboration makes available a substantial USD 32.8 million loan facility and technical assistance designed to contribute to catalyzing and strengthening the agricultural sector across SSA. Both eco.business Fund and SANAD Fund for MSME are advised by Finance in Motion.
The primary objective of the alliance is to provide crucial financial support to the agricultural sector, foster sustainable growth, mitigate climate change impacts and post-harvest losses, as well as address pressing challenges faced by farmers and agribusinesses in the region. The facility, offered through Ecobank Group, exemplifies the commitment of eco.business Fund and SANAD to bolster economic resilience and sustainability across SSA. The SANAD financing will be primarily targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises in the agricultural sector in select SSA countries.
The USD 32.8 million loan combined facility provides a substantial infusion of resources that will be channeled toward providing tailored financial solutions. The loan is expected to be accompanied by dedicated capacity building measures through the Technical Assistance Facilities of both funds for the benefit of smallholder farmers, agricultural enterprises, and related businesses. The comprehensive financial and non-financial support provided by both funds will promote improvements in productivity, environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, and contribute to inclusive economic growth in the region.
About Ecobank Group (or ‘Ecobank Transnational Incorporated’ or ‘ETI’)
Ecobank Group is the leading private pan-African banking group with unrivalled African expertise. Present in 35 sub-Saharan African countries, as well as France, the UK, UAE and China, its unique pan-African platform provides a single gateway for payments, cash management, trade and investment. The Group employs over 14,000 people and offers Consumer, Commercial, Corporate and Investment Banking products, services and solutions across multiple channels, including digital, to over 32 million customers. For further information, please visit ecobank.com.
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was formally launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ.
The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors.
The SANAD Fund for MSME, a fund advised by Finance in Motion, finances micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa and selected countries of sub-Saharan Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners.
The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility (SANAD TAF), managed by Finance in Motion, multiplies the fund’s impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required research and development. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the SANAD TAF, encompasses a range of programs to support business owners throughout SANAD’s target region. By working together with local organizations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises.
SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.
For more information on the SANAD Fund for MSME, please visit: www.sanad.lu
About Finance in Motion
Finance in Motion is a global impact asset manager focused exclusively on sustainable development in emerging markets and developing economies. The company structures, manages, and advises impact investment funds that bring together public and private investors to address climate change, strengthen biodiversity conservation, foster the sustainable use of natural resources, improve livelihoods, and promote economic opportunities.