Impact report 2015

Including the Excluded. How impact investing in inclusive finance made a difference in 2015

"Access to finance gives people the freedom of choice to pursue the life they wish to live."

At a glance
World Map

A global outreach.
112 investments across 45 countries

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Investing for impact

Our vision and approach to investing for impact in inclusive finance

Directly to Results
Our Approach

What did we achieve in 2015?

Our activities are guided by three interconnected goals.
Goal 1: serving the underserved, goal 2: building robust financial institutions and goal 3: broadening our impact agenda.

Case studies
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Case studies

Case 1: Fighting for equality in Tunisia

Essma Ben Hamida's drive to empower women through access to finance.

"Access to finance is instrumental in taking away this imbalance in gender and region, and in alleviating the rampant poverty in Tunisia."

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Case 2: Myanmar: the final frontier

With our investment in Dawn Microfinance, we are among the first international investors in Myanmar.

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Case 3: BancoSol’s growth impact

Kurt Koenigsfest, the CEO of microfinance bank BancoSol in Bolivia, is driven to develop and innovate within his country’s financial landscape.

"The challenge is maintaining the personal relationships while expanding operations and ensuring the clients feel equally served."

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Case 4: Leaders connect with investors

We held our bi-annual workshop, connecting investors with global inclusive finance leaders about current opportunities and challenges in this evolving and inspiring sector.

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Case 5: A revolutionary power

M-KOPA Solar makes clean energy affordable in East Africa. 80% of its clients earn less than USD 2 a day and 75% is active in agriculture.

"The availability of energy has a direct impact on the broader level of development of a country or a region. And it very directly impacts the lives of people."

Our funds

Our funds

Our funds consist of different risk profiles and funding structures and are thus suited to the needs of financial institutions at all stages of development, from start-up to fully-developed.

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About us

New investments

Our additions to the portfolio in 2015

Alliance Finance Company, Sri Lanka

Alliance Finance Company (Alliance) in Sri Lanka offers leasing, loan, and saving products, serving clients in various sectors such as agriculture, fishing, and trading. 70% of Alliance’s loan portfolio consists of leasing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 10% in microfinance, and the rest in hire-purchase and other loans.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to Alliance to further grow its outreach. Being Alliance’s first international lender, Triodos could be a catalyst helping to attract other international lenders. We also stimulate Alliance to further professionalise their strong triple bottom-line strategy. By further formalising their ESG criteria in credit policies and increasing exposure to specific ‘green products’ - for example hybrid/electric vehicles or solar systems - we encourage Alliance to bring their strong social and sustainability focus to international best standards.

BancoSol – Bolivia (equity)

Banco Solidario S.A. (BancoSol) in Bolivia has grown to become one of the top microfinance banks in Latin America. For 30 years, the bank has been actively involved in addressing the needs for basic financial services for low-income people by offering a broad range of products and services through its national network of (mobile) branches, points of sale, and ATMs. It also serves the unmet demand in the lower segment of the SME sector.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 251,512
Percentage of female clients 45%
Percentage of rural clients 12%
Average loan amount EUR 4,266
Number of savings clients 770,445

BancoSol is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of 36 banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development. Triodos Bank is a co-founder of this global alliance.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have taken a combined equity stake of 12% in BancoSol. As an equity investor, we bring our sustainable banking knowledge and expertise to the table, participate in BancoSol’s governance, and support the bank’s ambition to grow in rural areas, agricultural and SME lending and mobile banking.

Dawn Microfinance, Myanmar (equity)

To catalyse the inclusive finance sector in Myanmar, Triodos Investment Management (through Triodos Microfinance Fund, Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation), FMO and Accion have taken an equity stake to support Dawn Microfinance in developing into a leading, for-profit financial institution in Myanmar.

Dawn’s long-term ambition is to become a financial services provider to low income households, offering a wider range of products in addition to group loans, such as individual loans, SME loans and savings. Going forward, Dawn will focus on expanding its product portfolio and prioritise client education and protection.

As a member of the board of directors of DAWN and Chair of the Audit Committee, we bring in value through our involvement at the governance level of Dawn. In addition, Dawn has benefited from our relationships in the region. A field visit to some leading financial institutions in Cambodia, for example, enabled Dawn to learn from best practices in governance, management, and operations.

FINCA DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo

Established as an NGO in 2003 and transformed into a deposit-taking institution early 2009, FINCA DRC is the largest African affiliate in the FINCA network. FINCA DRC has a network of branches and a fast growing network of agents and offers its clients a mix of credit products and a variety of savings products.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 122,649
Percentage of female clients 56%
Percentage of rural clients 0%
Average loan amount EUR 536
Number of savings clients 262,335

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to FINCA DRC to strengthen the institution’s commitment to developing its product offering while staying true to its social mission.

Fortis Microfinance Bank, Nigeria

With a population of over 170 million inhabitants, Nigeria represents the largest microfinance market of Africa where still 37 million people who have no or limited access to financial services. Fortis Microfinance Bank strives to meet this unmet demand and aims to be the leading provider of straightforward and transparent financial services for micro and small entrepreneurs.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 56,483
Percentage of female clients 91%
Percentage of rural clients 71%
Average loan amount EUR 953
Number of savings clients 140,277

As one of the very few microfinance banks with a National License, Fortis Microfinance Bank is now expanding operations outside Lagos State. Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Fortis Microfinance Bank to support such an expansion.

Fundeser, Nicaragua

Fundeser’s core mission and expertise is to provide loans to the agricultural sector in Nicaragua, where farmers often face difficulties in getting access to finance. The institution has grown into the third largest microfinance institution in the country and the only regulated institution with a clear mission to serve rural areas.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 20,233
Percentage of female clients 49%
Percentage of rural clients 66%
Average loan amount EUR 1,626
Number of savings clients -

As part of their approach, Fundeser’s loan officers graduated in Agronomy and know the day-to-day business of farmers and the crops to be financed; in-house developed software gives insight and knowledge of prices for coffee and cattle.

Hivos-Triodos Fund has provided a loan to Fundeser to realise its growth ambition.

Ipak Yuli Bank, Uzbekistan

Ipak Yuli Bank currently services over 8,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, that play an important role in the growth of the economy in Uzbekistan. Product innovation is high on their agenda. The bank will, for example, look into the possibilities to develop green financing; this could be loans to buy solar equipment.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 8,398
Percentage of female clients 34%
Percentage of rural clients 14%
Average loan amount EUR 115,474
Number of savings clients 5,342

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to Ipak Yuli Bank to realise its growth ambitions, with 50% of the loan dedicated to financing the bank’s microfinance portfolio and 50% to the SME portfolio.

Janalakshmi Financial Services, India

Janalakshmi Financial Services (Janalakshmi) is one of the three largest microfinance institutions in India, focusing on the urban poor.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 3,828,211
Percentage of female clients 100%
Percentage of rural clients 0%
Average loan amount EUR 293
Number of savings clients -

While Janalakshmi primarily lends through group loans, financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a largely untapped market in India. A growing opportunity also exists with its innovation in technology. By using technology as the foundation of its services via cloud computing, PDAs, smart cards, and biometric devices, Janalakshmi has also become a leader in technology for financial inclusion in India.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Janalaskhmi, earmarked for expanding its loan portfolio to SMEs and overall growth.

Khan Bank, Mongolia

Khan Bank is the one of largest banks in Mongolia with approximately 25% market share, providing banking services to an estimated 70% of Mongolian households. Through its extensive network of more than 500 branches and sub-branches, the bank provides financial services even in the most remote areas of Mongolia.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 388,682
Percentage of female clients 50%
Percentage of rural clients 73%
Average loan amount EUR 3,599
Number of savings clients 847,292

The bank has a leading position in the micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector, being one of the largest financiers with 46% of its loan portfolio serving MSME clients. Through its foundation it is involved in social and environmental projects, such as campaigning against cancer, offering scholarships, and initiating forest rehabilitation programs.

The loan provided by Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund is used to fund Khan Bank’s SME loan portfolio, thus increasing the funds’ exposure to the SME financing sector.

Kompanion, Kyrgyzstan (equity)

With about 150 offices across the country and over 100,000 clients, Kompanion is one of the top microfinance institutions in Kyrgyzstan. It has a strong rural focus on the (un)banked population and is recognised at the sector for its environmental and social initiatives. The institution is closely tied to the communities it serves and offers training in sustainable agricultural practices.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 115,167
Percentage of female clients 76%
Percentage of rural clients 98%
Average loan amount EUR 577
Number of savings clients -

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided loans to Kompanion in the past, and became shareholders in 2015. The 17.5% equity stake is used by Kompanion to transform into a fully-fledged (microfinance) bank. In doing so, it will be able to offer a broader range of products and services in rural areas, which is largely left untouched by the market in Kyrgyzstan.

As an engaged member of the board of directors, we support Kompanion’s growth strategy through governance, our knowledge, expertise and network. This will enable Kompanion to continue to provide a variety of services that go beyond credit, such as education programs and savings products, and to be a market leader, embarking on the next stage of institutional development.

Microcred China

Microcred China operates two microcredit companies in the south-west of China: Microcred Sichuan and Microcred Nanchong.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 20,619
Percentage of female clients 29%
Percentage of rural clients 38%
Average loan amount EUR 6,993
Number of savings clients -

Both companies offer a range of credit products to micro, small- and medium-sized businesses that face difficulties in obtaining credit from the traditional banking system. In addressing this population, Microcred China aims to contribute to improving the lives of its clients and their families, and to contribute to an inclusive financial sector.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to Microcred to increase its outreach. With this loan we have made our entry in China that has the second largest number of unbanked adults, second only to India.

Microcred Mali

Affected by the conflict in the north of the country, Mali and its people have endured very difficult times the last years, and have seen the already low level of financial inclusion only going down. Microcred Mali seeks to address this challenge. It started its operations in 2013, when it opened its first branch in the city of Bamako. Currently operating out of seven branches, the institution aims to serve the unbanked micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 7.567
Percentage of female clients 44%
Percentage of rural clients 8%
Average loan amount EUR 2,911
Number of savings clients -

Strategy going forward is to grow into the leading microfinance institutions in Mali by providing a full spectrum of high quality financial services and venturing into different types of loans, for example for the agricultural sector, and delivery channels.

Hivos-Triodos Fund has provided a loan to Microcred Mali to realise its growth ambitions.

M-KOPA Solar, East Africa

Globally, 1.3 billion people do not have access to energy and another one billion only have limited access. M-KOPA Solar uses an innovative approach to give low-income households in East Africa access to power: it combines mobile payments with GSM sensor technology to enable households to buy a solar home system at an affordable price.

By now, M-KOPA has connected over 300,000 households in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This makes M-KOPA the global market leader in ‘pay-as-you-go’ solar services in terms of outreach. Working capital financing is needed to further scale-up the company’s outreach.

The loan provided by Hivos-Triodos Fund supports M-KOPA in this endeavour.

Norandino, Peru

Cooperativa Norandino (Norandino) is a savings and loans cooperative that targets small-scale farmers in Northeast Peru where still a very limited number of people have access to financial products and services.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 5,216
Percentage of female clients 19%
Percentage of rural clients 90%
Average loan amount EUR 1,727
Number of savings clients 5,124

For many of these small-scale farmers, coffee is the main crop, and therefore their main source of income. One of the biggest threats that coffee farmers currently face is the coffee leaf rust disease, which can affect yields and harvests. To address this urgency, renovation of coffee plantations is critical. The biggest challenge for small-scale coffee farmers with regard to renovating their coffee plantations is that it will take more than three years before they can harvest and thus earn any income again. The long-term finance provided by Hivos-Triodos Fund to Norandino bridges that gap. Thanks to the loan, Norandino can stimulate small-scale farmers to renovate and helps them to manage their coffee plantation efficiently. Fifty percent of this loan will be used for renovation of coffee plants with new, rust disease-resistant varieties; the remaining loan amount is used for the regular agricultural and rural commerce loans that Norandino provides to its members.

With this loan Hivos-Triodos Fund has expanded its agricultural value chain investment activities - one of the pillars of the fund's strategy.

Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund

Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund (Novastar) focuses on scaling sustainable and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that offer market driven solutions to poverty. Novastar is the first venture fund at scale, able to invest as little as USD 100,000 or as much (cumulatively) as USD 6 million. Thus, Novastar plays a catalysing role in the African financial sector, creating viable investment opportunities for new sources of capital that would not otherwise be available in East Africa.

A striking example in Novastar’s portfolio is Sanergy in Kenya. This company makes hygienic sanitation accessible, affordable and sustainable in urban slums. It builds a network of high-quality toilets and franchises them to local micro-entrepreneurs who now provide sanitation for over 20,000 slum dwellers a day. Sanergy employees collect more than 7.5 metric tonnes of waste from the toilets daily and deliver it to a central processing facility where the waste is converted into organic fertilizer for farmers. Finance from Novastar enables Sanergy to develop and demonstrate traction in the market for their organic fertilizer.

Hivos-Triodos Fund holds an equity stake in Novastar. The investment fits Hivos-Triodos Fund’s goal to catalyse growth in selected high impact sectors, and boost SMEs in emerging markets.

Optima Financial Services, El Salvador

About 80% of the population in El Salvador lives on not more than 250 US dollars a month. They are the target group for Optima Financial Services (Optima) – with its products and services the financial institution wants to impact their lives for the better.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2015

Number of loan clients 3,276
Percentage of female clients 66%
Percentage of rural clients 9%
Average loan amount EUR 3,902
Number of savings clients -

Most of Optima’s clients are self-employed, for example as taxi drivers, small shop owners or cattle traders, and operate in the informal sector and have very limited access to formal financial services.

25% of the loan that Hivos-Triodos Fund has provided to Optima is earmarked to be invested in energy efficiency/renewable energy products. Optima is currently looking into the possibilities of developing a green product that will impact households as well as businesses.

Promerica Financial Corporation, Panama

Promerica Group holds equity stakes in nine financial institutions in Central America, the Caribbean, and Ecuador. In 2015, the holding company employs over 10,000 people and serves 1.3 million clients. Promerica Group operates on the notion that local context and local people have the greatest impact and that SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) lending is necessary to stimulating small business and the local economy.

The loan provided by Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund is used to grow the smaller institutions in the portfolio to broaden their scope in the important SME segment.


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Photos in this impact report have been organised in close cooperation with the following investees in our portfolio:

  • Annapurna Microfinance, India (Satyjit Das)
  • Vistaar Finance, India (Opmeer Reports)
  • ACLEDA Bank, Cambodia
  • Dawn Microfinance, Myanmar
  • Arvand, Tajikistan
  • Enda inter-arabe, Tunisia (Karen Ebert)
  • M-KOPA Solar, East Africa (Allan Gichigi and Georgina Goodwin)
  • FUNDEA, Guatemala
  • BancoSol, Bolivia
  • Aldea Global, Nicaragua
  • Runa, Ecuador (Opmeer Reports)

Film production

Karen Ebert


Icemedia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

What can we do for you?

Are you an investor who wants to find out more about opportunities for investing in inclusive finance?
We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Please, contact our Investor Relations team:

T +31 (0)30 694 2400

Are you a microfinance institution or bank looking for finance, whether equity, subordinated debt or a loan?
We’d be happy to discuss your needs and objectives.
Please, contact our Emerging Markets team:

T +31 (0)30 693 6500


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