SANAD fosters economic development and employment creation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), especially among youth, by financing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and low-income households via qualified local lenders.
The fund takes a holistic approach in building the wider ecosystem for serving the “missing middle” of underbanked target groups – for instance by building the capacity of local lenders to serve MSMEs or conducting much-required research and development with the support of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility. SANAD thereby lays the foundation for systemic, long-lasting impact for economic growth and job creation.
In addition to its core focus on the underserved MSME sector, SANAD constantly strives to push the impact frontier by focusing on nexus topics such as increased access to financing for housing, support for agriculture, the promotion of innovations in financial technology, and the financial inclusion of youth and women.
Loans facilitated to micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households
Average size of loans facilitated to micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households
Share of loans facilitated in local currency
Staff employed by partner institutions
Loans disbursed by partners institutions
Total project volume approved
Number of beneficiaries of TA projects
Number of institutions served
Figures as of:
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a powerful and widely recognized framework for understanding development impact. SANAD contributes to achieving six SDGs:
At its core, SANAD is dedicated to equipping small business owners and entrepreneurs with the financing and enabling environment they need to sustain or grow their activities. Ranging from manufacturing companies to hair salons and craft shops, such enterprises face limited access to financial services in the MENA region. By working with local financial intermediaries to better serve this target group and building the wider ecosystem for financial inclusion, SANAD contributes to empowering entrepreneurs to create or expand their enterprises. Read our stories to discover how SANAD creates impact.
It starts with a good groundwork. SANAD is guided by a clearly defined impact agenda, stipulating not only the fund’s goals but also the specific eligibility parameters for its investments. Only if an investment meets the fund’s requirements for financial return and development impact, as well as sound environmental and social (E&S) management, will it proceed.
Once invested, impact and E&S monitoring are just as important as tracking financial performance. Monitoring provides a constant feedback loop of how well the fund is progressing towards its goals and provides insights and learnings. Periodic in-depth impact studies, conducted by external parties and financed by the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility, and field visits provide complementary information on specific impact indicators. This enables SANAD to continuously fine-tune its strategy and to flexibly react to changing conditions in order to further enhance the reach and depth of its impact.
In pursuing its sustainable investment objective, EFSE places a priority on effectively managing potential environmental and social (E&S) risks associated with the fund’s investments. In addition, the fund integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into decision-making and investee engagement. In line with this sustainable investment objective, the Fund falls within the scope of Article 9 of the Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
For sustainability-related disclosures in line with the requirements of the SFDR and more information on the Fund’s approach to impact and sustainability, please refer to: