Impact report 2017

Including the Excluded. How impact investing in inclusive finance made a difference in 2017

Inclusive finance: a cross-cutting theme

How we invest defines the world we want to live in. With our Inclusive Finance investments, we want to contribute to an accessible, transparent and robust financial sector in developing and emerging economies that empowers people and businesses to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Financial inclusion is a cross-cutting theme that goes beyond general access to basic financial products and services. It can also be instrumental in improving access to basic needs, such as access to education, clean energy and housing.

Dirk Elsen

In this Impact Report we present this broad scope in a context of stories, numbers and films. By zooming in on investees in Nicaragua, Tanzania, Serbia, India and Peru we want to give you a flavour how financial inclusion spurs sustainable development and contributes to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dirk Elsen
Director Emerging Markets
Triodos Investment Management

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Financial inclusion is a cross-cutting theme that spurs sustainable development.

2017: At a glance

Our investment portfolio

  • Assets under management: EUR 907 million
  • Number of countries: 49
  • New countries in our portfolio: 3 (Honduras, Lebanon, Serbia)
  • Number of investments: 123
  • Number of equity investments: 27
  • Managed by a dedicated team of over 40 professionals, of 17 different nationalities

Outreach highlights

Number of borrowers reached by institutions in our portfolio

20.3 million

Number of savers reached by institutions in our portfolio

15.2 million

Percentage rural clients

43%

Percentage female loan clients

79%

Number of people employed by institutions in our portfolio

141,534

Average loan

EUR 1,254
East Asia & Pacific EUR 1,738
South Asia EUR 315
Latin America & Caribbean EUR 3,470
Eastern Europe and Central Asia EUR 1,464
Africa and Middle East EUR 1,193

Diverse product offering

% of investees offering other financial services
 
 
 
  • Money transfer services
  • Savings products
  • Insurance products

Care for the environment

% of investees with environmental practices
 
 
 
 
 
  • Exclusion list
  • Green office procedures
  • Green financial products
  • Environmental training for customers
  • Donations for environmental protection

Non-financial services

% of investees offering additional training and services
 
 
 
 
  • Adult education
  • Enterprise training
  • Women empowerment
  • Health services

Knowledge sharing

We organised an interactive Equity workshop that brought together CEOs and board members from many of our investee companies from Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, discussing topics such as FinTech and resilience to outside disruptions.

Regional exposure

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Latin America
  • East Asia & Pacific
  • Eastern Europe & Central Asia
  • Africa & Middle East
  • South Asia
  • Global

Top 10 exposure by country

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
Country %
Cambodia 15.8
India 13.3
Ecuador 6.5
Kazakhstan 4.1
Nicaragua 4.0
Peru 3.9
Uganda 3.7
Sri Lanka 3.6
Bolivia 3.3
Panama 3.0

Division over instruments

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Debt
  • Equity
  • Subordinated debt

Division over financial inclusion segments

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Microfinance
  • SME finance
  • Housing Finance
  • Leasing
  • Others*
*Others comprise of direct investment in companies active in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and other inclusive finance activities.

A global outreach.
123 investments across 49 countries

Investing for impact

Our vision and approach to investing for impact in inclusive finance

Why do we invest in inclusive finance?

Addressing global challenges

There are two billion people worldwide who have no or only limited access to basic financial products and services, such as loans, savings accounts and payment services. Most of these people live in developing and emerging economies. We strongly believe that access to finance enables them to better manage their daily life, cope with unexpected difficulties, develop their entrepreneurial skills, and plan for the future. Furthermore, 65 million or 40% of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries, which are one of the strongest drivers of economic development, innovation and employment, have unmet financing needs

Investing in key players

We address these challenges by investing in local financial institutions that have local knowledge and expertise, understand their markets, are deeply rooted in communities. They serve the real economy by offering products and services that meet the needs of the people and small and medium-sized enterprises. For us, these financial institutions are key players in building an accessible, well-functioning and transparent financial sector that both supports and fuels sustainable development

Triggering economic and social development

Rather than being the silver bullet to end poverty, we are convinced that financial inclusion is an important contributor in a complex amalgam of economic, social and cultural measures. Access to financial products and services, such as savings, credit, payment facilities and insurance gives people more options to take charge of their lives, thus triggering economic and social development.

Our goals

  • Providing access to finance to underserved client groups.
  • Building robust, transparent and professional financial institutions
  • Promoting access to basic needs, including access to energy, education and sustainable agriculture

Embedded in the United Nations Development Goals

Sustainable development goals

The call and urgency for financial inclusion is also embedded in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 ambitious goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Bringing people into the financial system can be instrumental in attaining many SDGs.

The paper ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Role of Financial Inclusion’, published by CGAP and the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, reports that research shows that access to financial services can help achieve SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 7, SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 10, and SDG 16.

Access to finance enables people to better manage their daily life, cope with unexpected difficulties, develop their entrepreneurial skills, and plan for the future.

Our approach: How do we manage for sustainable impact in our investment process?

We invest in financial institutions that aim for a well-balanced mix between people, planet and profit. This basis for our investment policy is anchored in the overall investment process and translated into practices, tools, and indicators which together form the Triodos Sustainability Management System.

Sustainability embedded in our investment process

  • Initial
    screening
  • Due diligence
  • Investment
    decision
  • Monitoring
  • Reporting
Initial screening: We screen the portfolio company's mission and strategy to ensure the alignment with the Triodos vision and mission and the fit with the Triodos funds' strategy.

The Triodos Sustainability Banking Assessment (SBA) Scorecard

The Triodos Sustainability Banking Assessment Scorecard helps to analyse, monitor and report on the non-financial performance of our portfolio companies in an effective and transparent way. The Triodos Scorecard consists of 25 indicators grouped in five dimensions: Environment, Management & Staff, Product Range, Responsible Finance, and Governance.

The Triodos SBA Scorecard takes into account relevant industry initiatives, including the UNPRI Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management and the SMART Campaign’s Client Protection Principles, which address some of the most debated topics in the industry, such as fair pricing.

0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Governance Management and Staff Product Range Responsible Finance Environment
Governance: Contributing to sustainability highly depends on the governance of the company. Questions we address: Is management and board committed to good governance practice and social and environmental objectives and does the institution have a balanced board composition?

Example of an anonymised client

A microfinance institution that targets microenterprises in the urban areas
Environment Management and Staff Product Range Responsible Finance Governance
  • Financial Institution
  • Portfolio
  • Region

The diagram above assesses a financial institution (red) based on five dimensions and compares it with the average in the region (green) and in the portfolio (blue). This financial institution has a high score on governance and responsible finance. The institution started as an NGO and transformed into a financial institution in 2007. It is SMART Client Protection -certified, placing a strong focus on clients’ financial education. The governance structure is diversified with a combination of local and international shareholders, who bring complementary added value along with extensive knowledge and experience in the field. Our equity investment supports the institution’s transformation into a full-service financial institution, so that it can start offering a broader range of products and services, including savings accounts.

Assessing SME Financial institutions

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a very important role in local development and social cohesion by being the engine of employment and contributing to the local tax base. However, they are often not served by mainstream banks and microfinance institutions because of perceived risks and high costs. Empowered by their local presence and market knowledge, there is an increasing number of SME finance institutions in developing countries and emerging economies that focus on the finance needs of SMEs.

To support the further growth of this important segment we have started to finance an increasing number of SME financial institutions. We select these institutions and assess their sustainability, largely based on the Principles for Values-Based Banking as formulated by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values

  • A triple bottom line approach of people, planet and prosperity
  • Being grounded in communities and serving the real economy
  • Transparent and inclusive governance
  • Self-sustaining organisations, resilient to outside disruptions
  • Long-term relationships with clients and an understanding of their economic activities and the risks involved

What did we achieve in 2017?

Our activities are guided by three interconnected goals.

Goal 1: Serving the underserved

The financial institutions in our portfolio have a specific focus on reaching out to those traditionally excluded from access to affordable, effective and transparent financial products and services. We have also developed a strategy to engage financial institutions that serve small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) that often have unmet financing needs. The financial institutions in our portfolio reach:

Borrowers

20.3 million With a loan people can start or expand their business, utilise their talents and generate income.

Savers

15.2 million A savings account offer people a safe place to put their money - e.g. for school fees, hospital bills, and other unexpected expenses.

Rural clients

43% People living in rural areas are often excluded from financing as their remoteness is seen as too expensive by banks to have or start operations.

Female clients

79% Women are often in disadvantaged positions in many developing countries. Giving women the freedom to manage their income and to provide for their families empowers their position.

Average loan size

EUR: 1,254 The average loan size is very closely linked to local income levels in the different regions of the world. As a result, the average loan size varies greatly across the regions, from over EUR 3,400 in Latin America, to less than one-tenth of that amount in South Asia:
East Asia & PacificEUR 1,738
South AsiaEUR 315
Latin America & CaribbeanEUR 3,470
Eastern Europe and Central AsiaEUR 1,464
Africa and Middle EastEUR 1,193

Loans to small and medium-sized enterprises

We assess whether financial institutions provide loans to the underserved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that contribute directly to the development of the local economy through the employment that they provide and the taxes that they pay.
As per end 2017 (as % of portfolio)
  • Microenterprise
  • SME
  • Consumer
  • Corporate
  • Other

SME focused financial institutions

We entered new relationships with eight financial institutions that cater to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): Aye Finance and Varthana (India), Banpro (Nicaragua), Banrural (Honduras), Fedecrédito (El Salvador), Grupo Factoring de Occidente (Colombia), NMB Bank (Tanzania), and Promerica Costa Rica. This sector is an important pillar in any economy but especially in developing countries the biggest obstacle for healthy growth of SMEs is lack of access to capital.
We entered new relationships with eight financial institutions that cater to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Goal 2: Building robust, transparent, and professional financial institutions

We focus on building robust, professional and profitable financial institutions with a sustainable approach to providing a wide range of financial services to those traditionally excluded. These institutions fulfill a strong and instrumental role in society and their values-driven approach is crucial in developing an accessible, well-functioning and inclusive financial sector that fuels social and economic development.

A diversity of financial institutions

121 At year-end 2017 we provided finance – both debt and equity – to 121 financial institutions in 49 countries. These institutions vary from very small NGOs working in underdeveloped markets and fully fledged banks that offer a wide range of products, including loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to financial institutions that offer products and services that address basic needs, such as access to affordable education and renewable energy.

Knowledge sharing

We organised an interactive Equity workshop that brought together CEOs and board members from many of our investee companies from Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, discussing topics such as FinTech and resilience to outside disruptions.

New investees

20 We entered relationships with 20 institutions that focus on the un(der)served in Peru, Myanmar, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, India, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, China, Tanzania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka.
Overview of new investments

Diverse product offering

Microfinance and SME clients are interested in more than just taking out loans. They also want to be able to save, take out insurance and transfer money. A growing number of financial institutions – also in our portfolio - is able to meet these requirements. % of investees offering other financial services
 
 
 
  • Money transfer services
  • Savings products
  • Insurance products

Equity investments

27

We have equity positions in 27 institutions and play an active role on the Board of Directors. In this way, we bring our sustainable banking knowledge and expertise to the table and participate in the institutions’ governance and strategic development.

In 2017, we became a shareholder in Financiera FAMA, one of the leading microfinance institutions in Nicaragua targeting urban microentrepreneurs. Our presence will support the institution’s transformation into a full-fledged financial institution.

Offering non-financial products

The provision of non-financial services helps improve end clients’ capacities in better managing their finances and their living conditions. % of investees offering additional training and services
 
 
 
 
  • Adult education
  • Enterprise training
  • Women empowerment
  • Health services

Sustainability Banking Assessment Scorecard

We assess our investees using the in-house developed Triodos Sustainability Banking Assessment Scorecard, that challenges us and our investees to dive deeper into the role of governance, the product offering and the commitment towards responsible finance practices and the environment.

Strengthening our approach to SME focused financial institutions

In 2017, we formalised our approach and criteria for financing financial institutions that focus on small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs). We looked closely at the institutions’ exposure to the real economy and their environmental and social risk management system towards SMEs. Our approach is largely derived from the Principles of Values-based Banking of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

Transparency and fair pricing

The interest rates that financial institutions charge their clients is an important point of attention. We take both the profit target of the financial institution and the rates applicable in the local market into account. We assess if the institutions also pay attention to financial education and training of their clients. In 2017, 83% of the institutions in our portfolio offered financial literacy trainings to their clients.

Client Protection Principles

71% 71% of our investees are endorsers/signatories to the Client Protection Principles that put the interest of microfinance clients at the centre. In 2016 this was 82%. The lower percentage can be explained by the increase in the number of SME providers in our portfolio. The principles were established to ensure fair and responsible treatment of the microfinance clients, given their economic vulnerabilities and often low education levels. The principles are not widely known in the SME finance market, as SME providers serve clients that tend to have more experience in dealing with financial institutions. However, we continue to make sure that our investees provide fair and responsible treatment to their clients, regardless of the type of clients they serve by assessing the practices during our due diligence and include the assessment in our sustainability tool.

UNPRI Impact Investing Market Map on Inclusive Finance

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) is developing an impact investing market map for investors to identify companies that generate impact in one of 10 thematic sectors, including inclusive finance. In 2017, Triodos Investment Management, together with 26 other investors, participated in a working group to improve the map and its methodology for the inclusive finance sector. The draft can be accessed online via UNPRI website.
We organised an interactive Equity workshop discussing topics such as FinTech and resilience to outside disruptions.

Goal 3: Promoting access to basic needs

In our quest for innovation we are looking for opportunities that tie together financial services and access to basic needs. We have taken steps to finance players in the financial and non-financial sectors that address these, such as access to affordable housing, education, sustainable food and agriculture, and clean energy.

Addressing basic needs through financial institutions

Financial inclusion has become more than providing access to basic financial products and services. It also plays a crucial role in addressing other pressing issues, such as access to clean energy, education, healthcare, and affordable housing. In 2017, we invested, amongst others, in Varthana in India that provides loans and support to affordable private schools with the goal of improving access to quality education to India’s low-income families.

Direct lending to the provision of basic needs

We have provided lending to three innovative companies: Twiga Foods in Kenya that excels in minimising food waste and allowing food vendors to get products at a better quality and lower price, M-KOPA Solar in East Africa who are the global leader of pay-as-you-go solar energy systems and Urmatt in Thailand who are the world’s largest organic jasmine rice producer.

Green credit lines

25% 25% of our clients provide green credit lines. Examples are loans for biogas installations or solar panels.

Care for the environment

We stimulate efforts by financial institutions to make environmental protection a priority. For example, institutions can organise training courses and other activities in order to educate their clients about environmental protection and the contribution that they can make. % of investees with environmental practices
 
 
 
 
 
  • Exclusion list
  • Green office procedures
  • Green financial products
  • Training
  • Donations

In 2017, we provided guidance and assistance to Dawn Myanmar in the development of its environmental and social management system (ESMS). The institution now has in place an ESMS policy that consists of an ESMS strategy, exclusion list, implementation manual, and specific questionnaire on E&S risks that is included in the loan screening documentation.

Active in agriculture

17% The agricultural sector, a very important sector in developing countries, is highly exposed to climate fluctuations and potential natural disasters. Local farmers are therefore often excluded by lenders. We encourage financial institutions to be an active lender in this sector. Based on the total loan portfolio of all institutions in our portfolio, the percentage of loans extended to the agricultural sector amounted to 17% at year-end 2017.

Extending access to finance for refugees

Triodos Investment Management is part of the refugee finance working group initiated by the Dutch Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM) to promote access to finance to refugees that find shelter in foreign countries but are often excluded from financial services. As a result, they face difficulties to participate in the local economic system, find a job, receive/send remittances, start a business, and many more. A detailed programme is being developed to determine the gap in the selected markets and what kind of intervention the members of the working group can provide.
Financial inclusion also plays a crucial role in addressing other pressing issues, such as access to education, clean energy and housing.

Case 1: FAMA in Nicarugua

Focus on women entrepreneurs and home improvement

Case 2: Opportunity Bank Serbia

Serving rural communities

"Our role is critical for the development of rural Serbia"

Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) is in a league of its own. It has created its own market by financing the rural families that no other Serbian bank dares to finance. “Banks can copy us, but not our people. It’s our culture that differentiates us”, says CEO Vladimir Vukotić.

Feeling the impact of the global financial crisis and facing stiff competition, OBS changed course in 2008. “We were trying too much to be like all the other big banks”, says Vladimir Vukotić, OBS’ CEO. He launched a program to finance subsistence farmers and small agro-producers in the rural areas of Serbia. It was an instant success. Since then, the bank’s sole purpose is to provide financial services – small loans and savings products - to the people and small businesses.

“Mainstream banks don’t see these people as clients, but they also have needs for financial services”, says Vukotić, who has been CEO since 2014, prior serving as COO. “They have no bankable income stream, no credit history, no business plan, and no or few employees. Between 30-40% of the Serbian adult population, around two million people, have no access to finance their business, housing or emergency needs. What if you need to urgently fix your leaking roof or undergo an emergency operation?

“We have created our own market”, says Vukotić. “The country’s other 29 banks, competing for the big clients, will not do what we are doing because transaction costs are high. We drive many kilometers to visit our clients, and the loans are small. You need to meet the client and his or her family. You need to listen to them to judge their solvency.” OBS has 200 loan officers, while all the other banks combined have 1,000. “We hire people for their attitude and drive to contribute to society, and then teach them necessary skills. We are modest and are driven by impact. Banks can copy us, but not our people. It’s our culture that differentiates us.”

One fifth of the loans provided by OBS are under EUR 1,000, and 60% are between EUR 1,000 and 5,000. The micro loans have an effective interest rate between 13% and 25%. This is higher than loans from other banks but is related to a higher transactional cost of up to 9%. The bank also offers savings products; it was the first in the sector to launch a pension product and an education loan.

OBS has also developed internet-based training on how to save, because almost 70% of the population doesn’t have a spare 200 euros in case of an emergency. The bank has launched a savings product that encourages people to save by giving people a generous 12.5% interest rate if they set aside twenty euros per month. By comparison, the highest rate for a one-year deposit in the market is 3.5%.

“Our role is critical to a support of rural communities and predominantly small farmers that live there”, says the proud banker. “This is also recognised by the Central Bank. It has acknowledged the financing of small farmers by our bank as critical, because there is no other bank serving them. For the development of Serbia, it is important that people have access to the financial services. It is the only way for them to fulfill their potential and live a life of purpose and dignity.” In the bank’s vision, all economically active Serbians should have access to universal and structured banking finance by 2025.

OBS’ challenge is to identify methods to serve their micro clients, and to do so profitably. “We are always looking to increase our efficiency by streamlining and digitizing our processes, and finding other ways to keep our structure lean and our costs down”, says the CEO. Its branch offices are always outside the more expensive high streets and its headquarters is not in the capital but in Novi Sad, the country’s second-largest city.

The bank claims to be one of the first in the world to have introduced tablets for its loan officers. Previously, the agri-loan approval process could take up to two full days, now it can be done in just thirty minutes while they are visiting the client. OBS is also thinking of developing M banking for the low income rural population to offer tailored and accessible saving products.

The bank demonstrates that making impact and a healthy profit can go hand in hand. Two fifths of all farmers bank with OBS; close to 70% of OBS loan clients (about 45,000) live in rural areas, 41% are women. The bank’s services have helped to create more than 36,000 jobs and, indirectly, sustained more than 183,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, OBS is the country’s most profitable bank with a return on equity of 18%. OBS has also by far the lowest default ratio of the sector at 1.3%, six times better than the sector’s average of 10% and two times better than that of the next-best bank. In 2017, the bank’s loan portfolio grew 16% to over EUR 95 million.

Vukotić looks optimistic towards the future. The Serbian economy is set for recovery after years of fiscal consolidation and the tough transformation into a market economy, following the global financial crisis that exposed the structural weaknesses in Serbia’s economic growth model. There is a stable government and the country is slowly proceeding towards accession into the European Union. “In small steps we are going into the right direction”, the CEO says. He himself is much more in a hurry. His ambition to make OBS ‘one of the world-class examples’ of a mission-driven triple bottom line bank. He would like to expand to neighboring countries, which according to him, have the same market demand.

“It is important that people have access to financial services. It is the only way for them to fulfill their potential and live a life of purpose and dignity.”

Case 3: Varthana in India

Access to affordable quality education in India

Access to affordable quality education

Education is an empowering force in the world. It creates knowledge, builds confidence, and breaks down barriers to opportunity. It equips children with the qualities and skills to shape and build their future. Unfortunately, there are still millions of children across the world who lack access to affordable quality education. This challenge is present in India, especially with children from low-income families.

Varthana aims to overcome this gap by providing short and long-term financing to more than 3,500 affordable private schools. These education institutions enroll children from low-income and lower middle-income households, thereby impacting the lives of an estimated 2.5 million children. The quality of education offered at government schools is often lacking, and many parents want to send their children to an affordable private school. The private schools financed by Varthana charge schools fees between INR 500 – INR 1,500 (USD 7 – USD 22) per month.

Schools typically use Varthana’s loans to improve or expand building infrastructure, such as adding classrooms, or to buy new education materials. In addition to financial services offered to affordable private schools, Varthana offers training to:

  • school leaders on financial planning and business growth mainly through the Integrated School Accelerator Program
  • teachers on incorporating different teaching methods,
  • parents on the importance of increasing their engagement with the school and their children, and, of course,
  • students on English and other subjects to improve their academic performance.

Triodos Microfinance Fund has provided a loan to Varthana to further increase its outreach. Fund Manager Femke Bos: “This investment shows that financial inclusion has become more than providing access to basic financial products and services. It also plays a crucial role in addressing other pressing issues, such as access to affordable quality education, which is seen as one of the key pillars to alleviate poverty.”

The topic of education has been given a global platform through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the goals presented by the United Nations – SDG 4 – is to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

Access to education is seen as one of the key pillars to alleviate poverty.

Case 4: Inclusive finance leaders connect with investors

Case 5: SME finance in Tanzania

The role of NMB Bank in financing the country’s economic backbone

SME finance in Tanzania

NMB Bank in Tanzania marks the first investment of Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund in an African bank that has a strong focus on financing small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs). We sat down with Loelia Kibassa, Senior Manager Business Banking, to talk about financing this sector, which is seen as the economic backbone of Tanzania.

A key sector for economic development “SMEs are vital for our economy”, explains Loelia Kibassa. “They create productive employment and contribute to raising the standard of living in many Tanzanian households. Furthermore, they spur economic activities. You can see them as a wellspring for the larger firms of the future - more and more large firms started as SMEs before they grew larger.”

What is an SME? According to the Tanzanian government’s SME Development Policy (2002), SMEs are formalized undertakings employing between five and 99 people, with capital investments of less than TZS 800 million (EUR 300,000). Loelia Kibassa: “In addition to this categorisation, NMB Bank defines this market as composed of enterprises eligible for credit facilities between TZS 50 million (EUR 18,000) and TZS 1.5 billion (EUR 550,000), and a business turnover that does not exceed TZS 10 billion (EUR 3.5 million).” Looking at the current SME portfolio at NMB, it becomes clear that the bank focuses on the lower end of this sector. “Around 70% of the 3,000+ SMEs that we finance are typically family owned businesses that employ some staff to assist in running the businesses. The average loan these businesses take out amounts to around TZS 130 million (EUR 48,000).” Entrepreneurs use NMB Bank loans for working capital, fixed asset purchases or to buy equipment, for example.

The importance of a vibrant SME sector for a national economy is widely acknowledged and seen as critical in pushing the socioeconomic development agenda of a country further. According to the World Bank most formal jobs are generated by SMEs in emerging economies. They also create four out of five new positions, and formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of national income (GDP).

The challenges for NMB Bank

Loelia Kibassa outlines some of the challenges that NMB Bank faces when meeting the financial needs of the SMEs. “There is often a lack of proper business records, there is sometimes not sufficient collateral to cover the amount requested in line with the overall risk to the lender and the bank’s policy, and not every entrepreneur has the management skills to run and further develop their business. Multiple borrowing by some entrepreneurs has also been identified as a challenge, especially in big cities”.

NMB Bank addresses these challenges in multiple ways. Loelia Kibassa: “First of all, we make sure we are very close to our customers, so that we are able to select the challenges which need resolving. Building relationships is critical for customer retention and new acquisition. That’s why our Relationship Managers are so important.” With over 200 bricks- and-mortar branches, more than 700 ATMs and over 6,000 banking agents (Wakalas), NMB Bank has the largest network in the country, with a presence in every region. This network serves a client base of more than two million retail clients and helps NMB to build up a close relationship with SME customers.

Over time, NMB Bank has established a solid system to assess potential SME clients

Every SME loan application originates from one of ITS branches and is forwarded to the head office in Dar es Salaam for either further analysis or decision depending on facility size. “Since our first steps into the SME sector 12 years ago, our market share in this segment has increased to over 30%. We have built up a solid reputation and our involvement in an SME is often seen as a seal of approval by other financial players.” NMB Bank closely monitors is to check that the loan facility is spent on cash generating activities and contributes to the SME’s profitability. “We would prefer to see the SMEs not only relying on our capital for expansion; they should be able to gradually increase own capital base by retaining profits.”

A pioneer in mobile banking NMB Bank is known as a pioneer of innovative solutions in the Tanzanian financial sector. It was, for example, the first bank to offer mobile banking services in 2008. This also applies to SME clients. Loelia Kibassa: “We provide a service platform for SMEs to conduct their business smoothly such as internet banking and mobile banking services. Again, a network of over 6,000 Wakalas allows SME clients to easily withdraw and deposit cash, transfer money, pay for utility bills, and more.”

Business Clubs Each year NMB organizes Business Clubs forums across all regions. “So far, we have 34 active clubs. At club meetings we get feedback on our products and services to make sure they are tailored to their needs, we provide training on marketing and sales opportunities, and raise awareness on the importance of record keeping, markets and general business management.” Other stakeholders, who also play a role in an enabling environment for the SME sector, are invited to conduct sessions. “For example, the Land Office on property registration and land ownership. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) normally provide education on tax matters and entrepreneurs’ obligations to contribute to government revenue through payment of relevant taxes.” Other business experts are also invited to upskill the entrepreneurs in various business disciplines.

The Tanzanian government recognises the importance of the SME sector and wants to promote the sector. “The potential for growth is huge and it is our ambition to grow our market share significantly in the years to come,” concludes banker Kibassa.

"SMEs are vital for our economy"

Case 6: Cleaner taxis in Peru

The dual impact of Acceso Crediticio: a livelihood for taxi drivers and a cleaner environment.

A dual impact: a livelihood for taxi drivers and a cleaner environment

More than 300,000 taxis are a permanent feature in Lima, the capital of Peru. They offer a quick and affordable way to get around. However, the taxi sector faces two challenges. Firstly, taxi drivers have limited access to the finance to buy a car. Secondly, most of the current taxi fleet consists of older, polluting cars - 30% of the taxis are over 15 years old and need to be replaced according to municipal regulations. Financial institution Acceso Crediticio (Acceso) addresses both these challenges. How? By providing loans for taxis that are powered by more environmentally friendly compressed natural gas (CNG).

Underserved sector

The majority of Acceso’s clients are independent taxi drivers, living on low incomes with limited options to own their vehicles. The taxi financing market in Peru is largely ignored by most financial institutions. The few that do operate are focused on financing the purchase of new cars by wealthier clients.

Alejandro Solis, Regional Manager Latin America at Triodos Investment Management: “70% of Acceso’s clients do not have accounts at other financial institutions and 20% are borrowing for the first time. This shows the important role Acceso plays in providing access to finance for underserved groups.”

Dual impact

CNG-based vehicles also provide a cleaner and more efficient alternative to fossil fuel-powered taxis. Alejandro Solis: “Acceso directly contributes to a reduction in the number of polluting cars in Lima, and lower CO2 emissions because CNG-based vehicles emit 25% less CO2 compared to vehicles running on diesel.”

One-stop shop

Acceso provides more than just finance. It is part of a group of companies that offer complementary services including one-stop shops where clients can get additional products and services attached to the loan, such as car maintenance services and taxi insurance. Alejandro Solis: “Pioneering this kind of finance and services means Acceso is an innovative player in Peru’s financial sector and provides a good example for its peers to follow.”

Acceso served almost 15,000 clients by the end of 2017. The loan provided by Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund will enable Acceso to reach many more people in the future and contribute to a cleaner air in Lima.

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.

Triodos Microfinance Fund

Established in 2009 as a sub-fund of Triodos SICAV II with share classes available for institutional investors, high net worth individuals, and private banking clients across Europe.

  • Net assets: EUR 365 million
  • Number of countries: 40
  • New investments: 20, in Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Lebanon, Serbia, Kazakhstan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and China
  • Number of financial institutions: 93
  • Number of equity investments: 15

Outreach highlights

Number of borrowers reached by institutions in portfolio

18.7 million
  • Microfinance institutions: 16.7 million
  • SME finance providers: 2.0 million

Number of savers reached by institutions in portfolio

13.3 million
  • Microfinance institutions: 7.6 million
  • SME finance providers: 5.7 million

Percentage rural clients

43%
  • Microfinance institutions: 44%
  • SME finance providers: 40%

percentage female loan clients

79%
  • Microfinance institutions: 83%
  • SME finance providers: 43%

Number of people employed by institutions in portfolio

133,404
  • Microfinance institutions: 112,762
  • SME finance providers: 20,642

Average loan

EUR 1,280
  • Microfinance institutions: EUR 857
  • SME finance providers: EUR 4,733

Portfolio per market segment

  • Microenterprises
  • SME
  • Consumer
  • Corporate
  • Others

Portfolio per sector

  • Manufacturing
  • Service
  • Trade
  • Agriculture
  • Others

Diverse product offering

% of investees offering other financial services
 
 
 
  • Money transfer services
  • Savings products
  • Insurance products

Care for the enviroment

% of investees with environmental practices
 
 
 
 
 
  • Exclusion list
  • Green office procedures
  • Green financial products
  • Environmental training for clients
  • Donations for environmental protection

Non-financial services

% of investees offering additional training and services
 
 
 
 
  • Adult education
  • Enterprise training
  • Women empowerment
  • Health services

Regional exposure

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Latin America
  • East Asia & Pacific
  • South Asia
  • Eastern Europe & Central Asia
  • Africa & Middle East
  • Global

Top 10 country exposure

As per end 2017
(as % of fund's net assets)
Cambodia 13.0%
India 12.6%
Ecuador 5.5%
Sri Lanka 4.0%
Kazakhstan 3.9%
Nicaragua 3.4%
Peru 3.3%
Bolivia 3.0%
Panama 2.9%
Paraguay 2.8%

Asset allocation

As per end 2017
(as % of fund’s net assets)
  • Debt
  • Equity
  • Subordinated debt
  • Other assets and liabilities

Division over financial inclusion segments

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Microfinance
  • SME Finance
  • Leasing
  • Housing finance
  • Other inclusive finance

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: BANCO PROMERICA COSTA RICA

Headquartered in San Jose and part of Promerica Financial Corporation, Banco Promerica Costa Rica (Promerica) is a SME-focused bank that has built a reputable name due to its relation-based approach. It is present largely in the centre of the country, across 11 branches, six agencies, and with a network of 33 ATMs. Promerica leads the green lending activities in the country and actively finances green initiatives such as renewable energy projects, zero emission vehicles, sustainable construction, and solar panels.

As a bank, Promerica is able to offer various financial products and services. Being part of Promerica Group, the bank enjoys a shared culture and interest in sustainable banking, which is reflected in its operations, loan operations, and CSR activities. Using our Sustainable Banking Assessment Scorecard, the bank performed as below:

Governance Management and Staff Product Range Responsible Finance Environment 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
  • Financial Institution
  • Portfolio
Governance: The board of Promerica consists of non-executive members and 20% is independent members with strong profiles, accompanied by several board committees. The regulator maintains strict supervision on the banking’s sector corporate governance. The bank plans to further embed a sustainable approach in its governance and practices in the next five years.

Triodos Fair Share Fund

Triodos Fair Share Fund was launched in 2002 as one of the first funds for retail investors in the Netherlands to invest in the microfinance sector worldwide. The fund focuses on well-established financial institutions that demonstrate a sustainable approach toward providing financial services to those traditionally excluded.

Investment portfolio

  • net assets: EUR 350 million
  • number of countries: 41
  • new investments: 19, in Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kazakhstan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and China
  • number of institutions: 94
  • number of equity investments: 16

Outreach highlights

Number of borrowers reached by institutions in portfolio

18.7 million
  • Microfinance institutions: 16.7 million
  • SME finance providers: 2.0 million

Number of savers reached by institutions in portfolio

13.4 million
  • Microfinance institutions: 7.7 million
  • SME finance providers: 5.7 million

Percentage rural clients

43%
  • Microfinance institutions: 44%
  • SME finance providers: 40%

Percentage female loan clients

79%
  • Microfinance institutions: 83%
  • SME finance providers: 43%

Number of people employed by institutions in portfolio

133,631
  • Microfinance institutions: 112,989
  • SME finance providers: 20,642

Average loan

EUR 1,279
  • Microfinance institutions: EUR 858
  • SME finance providers: EUR 4,733

Portfolio per market segment

  • Microenterprises
  • SME
  • Consumer
  • Corporate
  • Others

Portfolio per sector

  • Manufacturing
  • Service
  • Trade
  • Agriculture
  • Other sectors

Diverse product offering

% of investees offering other financial services
 
 
 
  • Money transfer services
  • Savings products
  • Insurance products

Care for the enviroment

% of investees with environmental practices
 
 
 
 
 
  • Exclusion list
  • Green office procedures
  • Green financial products
  • Environmental training for customers
  • Donations for environmental protection

Non-financial services

% of investees offering additional training and services
 
 
 
 
  • Adult education
  • Enterprise training
  • Women empowerment
  • Health services

Regional exposure

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Latin America
  • East Asia & Pacific
  • Eastern Europe & Central Asia
  • Africa & Middle East
  • South Asia
  • Global

Top 10 country exposure

As per end 2017
(as % of net assets)
Cambodia 12.5%
India 12.0%
Ecuador 5.4%
Nicaragua 4.2%
Kazakhstan 4.1%
Peru 3.4%
Sri Lanka 3.2%
Bolivia 3.2%
Panama 3.1%
Paraguay 2.9%

Division over instruments

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Debt
  • Equity
  • Subordinated debt

Division over financial inclusion segments

As per end 2017
(as % of portfolio)
  • Microfinance
  • SME Finance
  • Leasing
  • Housing finance
  • Others

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: BRAC UGANDA

BRAC Uganda is part of BRAC, a development organisation based in Bangladesh. The institution offers microloans and development related activities mainly to disadvantaged women, allowing them the opportunity to engage in income generating activities to improve their economic and social livelihood. BRAC Uganda serves over 213,000 borrowers out of 147 branches in 81 districts across Uganda. Apart from offering loans, the institution has also been very active in running programs aimed at education, empowerment, agriculture, health, sexual and reproductive awareness, vaccinations, and farming training.

As a credit-only microfinance institution, BRAC Uganda is faced with some operational restrictions due to its license and challenging economic condition. The assessment on BRAC Uganda using our Sustainability Banking Assessment Scorecard arrived at the results below.

Governance Management and Staff Product Range Responsible Finance Environment 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
Governance: BRAC Uganda has twofold objective of reducing poverty and emancipating the poor. The board is an adequate size and the institution is planning to transform into a deposit-taking institution.

Hivos-Triodos Fund

Hivos-Triodos Fund Foundation (Hivos-Triodos Fund) is a joint initiative of Triodos Bank and Hivos, established in 1994. Thanks to its funding structure Hivos-Triodos Fund is able to assume more risk and acts as an incubator for innovation in line with our strategy. Hivos-Triodos Fund focuses on financial institutions that are active in underdeveloped markets. The fund also aims to promote access to renewable energy and contribute to the sustainable development of the agricultural sector in developing countries, by financing local financial institutions that target SMEs and by making direct investments in businesses that are active in sustainable agriculture and/or renewable energy.

Fund data as of 31 December 2017

Total portfolio

EUR 63.9 million

Number of institutions

27

Number of countries

15

Number of equity investments

8

Key impact indicators

Loan clients reached by financial institutions in portfolio

2.5 million

Savings clients reached by financial institutions in portfolio

2.0 million

Average loan amount

EUR 532

Percentage of female loan clients

87%

Percentage of clients in rural areas

57%

Number of people employed by financial institutions in portfolio

13,750

Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation

With its investments, Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation aims to accelerate sustainable development worldwide. Thanks to its funding structure it able to assume more risk and acts as an incubator for innovation in line with our inclusive finance strategy. A part of the portfolio is dedicated to the inclusive finance sector where it finances new and relatively higher risk financial institutions that target difficult-to-reach client groups and under-served geographical areas.

Fund data for inclusive finance investments as of 31 December 2017

Total assets

EUR 64 million

Investments

16

Number of countries

13

Number of equity investments

7

Key impact indicators inclusive finance investments

Loan clients reached by financial institutions in portfolio

1.3 million

Savings clients reached by financial institutions in portfolio

2.3 million

Average loan amount

EUR 2,493

Percentage of female loan clients

65%

Percentage of clients in rural areas

64%

Number of people employed by financial institutions in portfolio

19,056

SFRE Fund

The Sustainability | Finance | Real Economies Fund, also known as the SFRE Fund (pronounced Sapphire), is the first global open-ended investment fund providing long-term and mission-aligned capital for the growth needs of financial institutions that support real economic development, both in emerging and emerged markets.

Triodos Investment Management took on the portfolio management for SFRE Fund in 2017 and the fund management as of 1 January 2018.

Fund data as of 31 December 2017

Commited capital

USD 44 million

Investments

3

Number of countries

3

Number of equity investments

1

Number of subordinated debt investments

2

Key impact indicators

Loan clients reached by financial institutions in portfolio

631,934

Savings clients reached by financial institutions in portfolio

1.2 million

Average loan amount

EUR 2,842

Percentage of female loan clients

68%

Percentage of clients in rural areas

55%

Number of people employed by financial institutions in portfolio

9,178

About us

Our vision on impact and impact measurement

As an investor for impact we understand finance to be transformational, and define it as directing money so that it benefits people and the environment over the long-term. The impact we are interested in – for each of our investment strategy - is the effect of our activities on society and the environment.

For our inclusive finance investment strategy this impact is about providing access to finance to those traditionally excluded and building robust, sustainable and professional financial institutions that are key actors in developing an accessible, well-functioning and inclusive financial sector that fuels social and economic development.

We realise that our role and efforts in this complex web of change are can only to a limited extend be captured in quantitative metrics and indicators. We also believe that investing for impact moves beyond providing capital and requires a strong intention and a holistic and long-term approach, as opposed to one-dimensional solutions. With this approach Triodos differentiates itself from others in the capital-providing space.

To understand our vision and the extent to which we’re delivering on it, means sharing stories that illustrate the whole picture. These stories provide the essential context and background for our activities. They illustrate our ‘theory of change’. They are not ‘cherry-picked’ to highlight work that is atypical of our wider efforts.

The quantitative indicators are a part of the whole story. That means indicators, such as ‘number of loan clients reached’, ‘percentage female clients’ and ‘percentage rural clients’, are not a goal in itself; they are pieces of information that are part of the broader picture. For that reason, we neither set specific goals for indicators nor do we compare them to last year figures, simply because a higher number doesn’t necessarily mean more impact.













For instance, financing a small an innovative financial institution which will drive financial inclusion in rural areas could mean more impact than financing an established financial institution in a mature market.

This publication aims to assess and communicate the impact of our Inclusive Finance investments in a transparent and meaningful way. For the reader’s convenience we avoid academic terminology, such as impact, outcomes, outputs, and so on.

About Triodos Investment Management

The Triodos inclusive finance funds are managed by Triodos Investment Management. Triodos Investment Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank, is a globally recognised leader in impact investing and connects a broad range of investors who want to make their money work for positive change with innovative entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses doing just that.
Read more

About Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank is one of the world’s leading sustainable banks. Established in 1980, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, commercially successful approach to money that values people, the environment and culture, as well as profit.
Read more

New investments

Our additions to the portfolio in 2017

Accesso Crediticio, Peru (new debt)

Accesso Crediticio provides automotive financing in Peru with a specialisation in compressed natural gas (CNG) taxi car financing. CNG-based vehicles are a cleaner and more efficient alternative to fossil fuels. The institution plays a strong role in financial inclusion, with 70% of its clients not having accounts at other financial institutions and 20% opening an account for the first time. The majority of the institution’s clients are independent low-income taxi drivers that otherwise would have limited options to own their vehicles.

The loan provided by Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund will enable Acceso to reach many more people in the future and contribute to a cleaner air quality in Lima.

ACLEDA MFI Myanmar (new debt)

Headquartered in Yangon, ACLEDA MFI Myanmar serves over 32,000 borrowers, mostly through group loans, from its branches in Yangon, Bago, and the Mon region. As part of ACLEDA Bank in Cambodia, ACLEDA MFI Myanmar inherits the parent company’s strong practice of responsible finance and the protection of the environment.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to ACLEDA MFI Myanmar to increase its outreach.

Advans Cote d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast (new debt)

Advans Cote d’Ivoire is one of the largest microfinance institution in Ivory Coast, offering credit and savings products and other related financial services. Through its 14 branches, Advans serves over 13,000 borrowers, mainly in the trading sector. To support cacao farmers and cooperatives, Advans has pioneered the development of financial products for loans, savings, and trade finance.

Al Majmoua, Lebanon (new debt)

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Al Majmoua, a leading microfinance institution in Lebanon. This institutions issues both individual and group loans to approximately 70,000 low-income individuals, largely micro entrepreneurs and women.

Its commitment to promoting sustainable development is amplified by its service to refugees through a refugee loan product that was designed in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and based on the experience gained during a programme with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Currently 3% of its active borrowers are refugees, of which 89% are women.

Aye Finance, India (new debt)

Aye Finance focuses on serving micro, small and medium-sized businesses in manufacturing, trade, livestock, and service sectors that require working capital loans. The institution distinguishes itself by implementing a strong creditworthiness assessment method that allows them to serve clients with limited or no formal documentation. Aye Finance currently operates out of 39 branches across the country, with the majority in the north of India, serving 26,000 clients. Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to Aye Finance.

Banco de la Produccion, Nicaragua (new debt)

Banco de la Produccion (Banpro) is the largest bank in Nicaragua and a leader in agricultural SME finance. The bank offers a diverse range of banking products and services and operates the largest number of bank branches in the country. Its green credit product has so far achieved energy and water savings equal to the consumption of 83,000 households and 3,250 households respectively through lending to energy efficiency, renewable energy, efficient irrigation, and water capturing system projects.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Banrpo to realise its growth ambition.

Banco De Desarrollo Rural Honduras (new debt)

Serving over 40,000 clients, Banco De Desarrollo Rural Honduras (BanRural) is a bank with a clear focus on reaching rural areas, particularly in sectors that are traditionally ignored by the financial sector. More than half of its loan portfolio is dedicated to financing the productive sector and micro, small, and medium-sized entrepreneurs.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to BanRural.

Credisol, Honduras (new debt)

Credisol has a clear focus on serving the base of the pyramid, especially in the rural areas of Honduras, while caring for the environment. In line with Credisol’s mission to care for the environment they offer green products, specifically designed to finance solar panels and stoves that are less contaminating.

The loan provided by Hivos-Triodos Fund will enable Credisol to increase its outreach.

Fedecrédito, El Salvador (new debt)

Fedecrédito is a federation of financial cooperatives in El Salvador. Fedecrédito serves its 55 cooperative members by providing them with funding, supervision, training and consulting services. The institution reaches 934,000 low-to-mid income people and micro/small-entrepreneurs through its extensive network of branches, tellers, correspondents, and ATMs. The cooperatives offer diversified loans: working capital, agriculture, fixed asset, consumer, and credit card loans. In addition, they offer remittances and payment services as well as an array of insurance services (life, vehicles, damage). This includes a health care insurance which enables access to unlimited medical consultation for clients their families for a small fee of USD 2.25 per month.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Fedecrédito.

Grupo Factoring de Occidente, Colombia (new debt)

Grupo Factoring de Occidente (GFO) is a leading factoring company in Colombia. Through factoring, it allows small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to sell their invoices at a discount to bigger companies. As a result, GFO relieves SMEs from the burden of managing collections, smooths their cashflows and allows them to focus on their core business. Environmental and social risk management systems are comprehensive, implemented both internally and in the credit process.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to GFO.

Grassland Finance, China (new debt)

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to Grassland Finance, a holding company of microcredit companies (MCC) in China with 16 branches in four regions: Chifeng, Chongqing, Jishou, and Urumqi. They serve over 5,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Grassland is a frontrunner in using technology to advance financial inclusion, with internet-linked tablet solutions to improve loan officers’ efficiency and using WeChat to ease customers’ loan application processes.

LOLC Myanmar (new debt)

LOLC Myanmar Microfinance Company is a microfinance institution established by the LOLC Group from Sri Lanka. The institution is following Grameen style group lending methodology while preparing to offer individual loans. It serves over 40,000 clients who are largely engaged in trading and service sectors, out of its 18 branches spread across three provinces in Southern Myanmar.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to LOLC Maynmar to increase its outreach.

Mikrofin, Bosnia and Herzegovina (new debt)

Triodos Fair Share Fund has provided a loan to microfinance institution Mikrofin that operates with a mission to provide appropriate financial services to economically active low-income population to enable them make an income. The credit-only institution has a network of 72 offices covering most of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a focus on small agricultural loans in rural areas. It serves close to 60,000 clients.

National Microfinance Bank, Tanzania (new debt)

National Microfinance Bank (NMB) is the largest microfinance and SME finance bank in Tanzania, serving close to 400,000 loan clients and 2 million savers. The bank pioneered mobile banking in the country, being the first bank to offer mobile banking service in 2008. Growing its presence in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the agriculture sector segments is the bank’s next ambition.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to NMB.

Opportunity Bank Serbia (new debt)

In 2017, Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund provided a first loan in Serbia, to Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS). OBS stands out in the Serbian financial sector by focusing on people and businesses that are underserved by the mainstream banks: micro and small entrepreneurs, farmers, low-income employees and pensioners. The bank serves over 40,000 clients with a variety of financial products and services, including loans and saving accounts.

Bancro Promerica de Costa Rica (new debt)

Banco Promerica is an SME-focused bank known for its relation-based approach. It is the leading bank in green finance, with a focus on renewable energy projects, zero-emission vehicles, sustainable construction, and solar panels.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Banco Promerica to increase its outreach.

Sathapana Myanmar (new debt)

Established by Maruhan Group, the holding company of Sathapana Bank Cambodia, Sathapana Myanmar is a fast-growing microfinance institution that offers both group and individual loans. The institution operates out of eight branches, reaching over 40,000 clients that mainly operate small trading and agriculture business. Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have provided a loan to Sathapana Myanmar.

Twiga Foods, Kenya (new debt)

Twiga Foods enables the distribution of fruits and vegetables directly from farmers to vendors in Nairobi, allowing the vendors to access these products at a lower cost and better quality than those they get from the informal markets. This is done through a mobile application and payment is done cashless using mobile money. Through its effective practices, Twiga Foods is able to reduce its food waste to 7%, while the average food waste in the food value chain is around 40%. The loan provided by Hivos-Triodos Fund enables Twiga Foods to invest in cooled storage capacity and to expand its activities.

Varthana, India (new debt)

Varthana is a financial institution with a focus in improving the access to quality education for children from low-income families through the provision of short and long-term financing to affordable private schools. In India, affordable private schools play an important role in serving children that have no access to public schools while also delivering the same or even better quality of education.

Triodos Microfinance Fund has provided a loan to Varthana to enable them to further the access to quality education in India.

VisionFund Lanka, Sri Lanka (new debt)

VisionFund Lanka is part of the VisionFund International Network. The institution, which received a loan from Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund in 2017, offers group loans to entrepreneurial women in rural areas. The average loan amount is EUR 229 which indicates that VisionFund targets the lower-end of the microfinance market.

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Credits

Text

Triodos Investment Management, Zeist, The Netherlands

Photography

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

  • Acceso Crediticio, Peru (Opmeer Reports)
  • Aye Finance, India
  • Bina Artha, Indonesia
  • Dawn Microfinance, Myanmar
  • FAMA, Nicaragua
  • FUNDEA, Guatemala
  • NMB Bank, Tanzania
  • Opportunity Bank Serbia, Serbia
  • Varthana, India
  • Visión Banco, Paraguay

Film production

Opmeer Reports

Design

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:

E triodosinvestmentmanagement@triodos.nl
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:

E microfinance@triodos.com
T +31 (0)30 693 6500

Available by the end of July 2017