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.

The SANAD Impact Report is here!

Read the new SANAD Impact Report: A Decade of Supporting Entrepreneurship and Employment and discover how SANAD's achievements in expanding financial inclusion have contributed to improving employment, livelihoods, and long-term prospects over the last ten years. For a more dynamic read, take a look at the microsite



Impact Facts & Figures

Debt Sub-Fund:

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

89 %

Share of loans facilitated in local currency

Equity Sub-Funds:

Staff employed by partner institutions


Loans disbursed by partners institutions

Technical Assistance:
million USD

Total project volume approved


Number of beneficiaries of TA projects


Number of institutions served

Type of technical assistance:

Figures as of:

Q3 2021

Contribution to the SDGs


The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a powerful and widely recognized framework for understanding development impact. SANAD contributes to achieving six SDGs:

Eradicating poverty in all its forms involves increasing access to basic resources and services, including financial services. SANAD contributes to meeting the basic financing needs of MSMEs and low-income households.
Ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition involves promoting agricultural productivity and improving the incomes of small-scale farmers. SANAD contributes to improving agricultural productivity and the livelihoods of small-scale food producers through secure and equal access to financial services.
Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all involves encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation. SANAD contributes to local economic growth and employment creation by enabling entrepreneurs to grow businesses, including through tailored financial services especially for young entrepreneurs and MSMEs in rural areas.
Building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation involves upgrading existing industries and promoting new industries. SANAD contributes to upgrading small-scale industrial and other enterprises through improved access to financial services.
Reducing inequality within and among countries involves empowering people earning low incomes and promoting economic inclusion of all. SANAD contributes to sustaining and growing business income among marginalized entrepreneurs, such as women, youth, refugees, and rural populations.
Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development involves mobilizing financial resources for developing countries. As a blended finance fund, SANAD contributes to bringing together public and private investors for sustainable development.

Impact Stories

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.

Impact Management

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.

Finance in Motion, SANAD advisor, is a signatory of the Operating Principles for Impact Management (Impact Principles), also aligning SANAD’s impact management system with these recognized industry practices. 
Along with an annual disclosure statement, which provides details on the practices applied, the advisor is committed to periodic independent verifications. The first verification, conducted in 2021 by the specialized consulting firm BlueMark, affirmed strong alignment with the Operating Principles for Impact Management. 
Read Finance in Motion’s Operating Principles for Impact Management Disclosure Statement

Sanad's Impact Pathway

For more details on how SANAD works towards its impact targets, refer to the Theory of Change, which summarizes the fund's impact logic and builds the foundation for its impact measurement and management system. 

Read more about our 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: