SANAD celebrates ten years of social and economic impact in Middle East and North Africa
- Leading impact fund enables MSME loans of USD 787 million to support jobs and financial inclusion; USD 21 million provided in nonfinancial assistance
- Special focus on agricultural finance, digitalization, and women entrepreneurship
- Anniversary marked by newly released SANAD Impact Report; special event brings together international financiers to carry momentum into the future
Luxembourg, October 06, 2021 – The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) marks a decade of operations in the Middle East and North Africa this year. Since its establishment in 2011, the Luxembourg-based entrepreneurship fund has enabled a total of USD 787 million loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and households through long-lasting partnerships with financial institutions that support businesses, livelihoods, and economic growth in the region. The investments have been complemented by USD 21 million in targeted technical assistance to help build an inclusive financial ecosystem, particularly for underserved groups such as women, youth, and rural and agricultural MSMEs.
These achievements are outlined in the newly released “SANAD Impact Report 2020: A Decade of Supporting Entrepreneurship and Employment.” The publication details how, through debt and equity financing and technical assistance, SANAD expands local financial institutions’ capacity to open crucial access to sustainable financing for MSMEs in the Middle East and North Africa – ultimately facilitating employment, income generation, and long-term prospects. In addition, in 2020, SANAD began expanding its impact outreach to include selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa to foster linkages between the two regions.
The anniversary was also marked by an international meeting of SANAD stakeholders on October 5, 2021. The gathering of public and private investors, government representatives, policy makers, financial sector representatives, and local entrepreneurship support organizations discussed pertinent strategies to expand SANAD’s impact in the years to come. Among these were representatives from KfW Development Bank – the fund’s initiator – along with other important fund investors such as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the European Union.
In 2020, the EU and BMZ contributed additional funding totaling USD 125 million to strengthen the fund’s ability to deliver impact, including in times of crisis.
SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann said: “SANAD’s partners have been able to count on targeted, consistent support throughout ten years of impactful operations in the Middle East and North Africa. Whether against the background of political upheaval, economic turbulence, or a historic pandemic, SANAD has been a constant champion of micro, small, and medium enterprises – maintaining close relationships with on-the-ground financial service providers, small business organizations, and national regulators to help shape a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem and lay stable footing over uncertain terrain.”
By the end of 2020, SANAD’s debt financing activities had facilitated over 240,000 loans to small borrowers, 135,000 of which were women. Equity financing had helped build eight financial institutions, which contributed to unleashing nearly a million loans. Complementing these financial activities were 270 projects led by the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility to deepen and anchor the impact of the fund’s investments.
The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa and selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.
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