The Fund

The SANAD* Fund for MSME is an impact investment fund dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa.

By providing much-needed access to financial resources, SANAD helps micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region fulfill their role as engines of inclusive economic growth, job creation, and prosperity.

SANAD channels funding to this vital target group by building the ability of the local financial sector to serve the needs of MSMEs. This is done by

SANAD means “support” in Arabic

investing in local partners such as microfinance institutions, leasing companies, banks, fintechs, and other financial intermediaries that share our commitment to financial inclusion. SANAD also facilitates access to housing loans for underprivileged sections of society, in addition to promoting agricultural lending and financial technology.

SANAD’s unique offering of debt and equity financing is complemented by a Technical Assistance Facility that delivers tailored non-financial support to embed and amplify the fund’s impact.

SANAD's mission is to...

finance micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income household in the Middle East and North Africa via qualified lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation - including youth employment, agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies.

SANAD’s Strengths

  • Creation of employment and economic development by financing MSMEs in target countries alleviates migration pressure and generates high impact
  • Unique combination of variety of financing instruments under one umbrella: debt and equity supported by multi-faceted technical assistance facility (support for partner institutions, sector and regulatory bodies)
  • Excellent track record in risk assessment and on-the-ground experience in volatile operating environment
  • Financing through local currency facilities contributes to responsible finance
  • Development of entrepreneurship ecosystem and adding to innovation agenda
  • Attraction of private capital through public funding and risk/return balanced share class structure

“As an impact fund dedicated to its mission, SANAD aims to serve as a reliable partner for its partners in turbulent times. Over the past few months, the fund and its TA Facility have moved swiftly to support them with tailored financing and technical assistance to boost the ability of local financial institutions and MSMEs to tackle the economic effects of this unprecedented crisis.”

Dr. Daniela Beckmann
Chairperson of the SANAD Board of Directors

Our Target Region

Fund Imperatives & Rationale

In supporting MSME development, the SANAD Fund for MSME follows these key imperatives:

  • Maintain and create employment, especially for youth and women entrepreneurship
  • Reduce poverty by facilitating self-employment
  • Address the shortage of medium, long-term, and local currency financing

SANAD also aims to:

  • Strengthen financial intermediaries and encourage them to enhance their MSME lending
  • Build inclusive financial systems by cooperating with banks, microfinance providers, and other institutions to open access to financial services and to foster responsible finance principles
  • Promote financial innovation and technology as tools to enhance efficiency, extend outreach, and expand financial inclusion

In addition, because SANAD is dedicated to impactful, long-term engagement with the market, the fund plays an instrumental role in forming leading greenfield ventures that address the needs of the underserved “missing middle” and help build inclusive systems throughout the region.

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises

Preserving and generating jobs in the Middle East and North Africa is quite unthinkable without micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This sector accounts for nearly two-thirds of GDP and almost three-quarters of employment in the region. Yet the great majority have limited to no access to financial resources. In addition, small enterprises often hit a wall at a crucial stage of growth: As they graduate from the micro stage, their financial requirements start to exceed the scope of microfinance institutions (MFIs). Yet they are still too small and informally structured for commercial banks. They fall into the “missing middle.”

With targeted financing solutions and hands-on assistance, the SANAD Fund for MSME expands resources to this underserved but important sector. The fund enables commercial banks to widen their client base at the lower end of the scale, and MFIs to accompany their customers further along the growth curve. This allows entrepreneurs the means to grow, and jobs to be created and sustained. And by trailblazing financing for MSMEs in the region, SANAD helps open up opportunities for further investment.

Agricultural Finance

SANAD fosters agricultural and rural development in the region. Agriculture contributes significantly to the economy of many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, employing a large share of the population. SANAD actively supports agricultural and economic development in rural areas where financing opportunities can be especially scarce.

Affordable Housing

SANAD also enables access to affordable housing for low-income individuals. Projections from studies conducted by the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility have identified a vital need to fill housing demand over the next few decades. In addition, increasing housing quality further accelerates economic development and prosperity.

Innovation in Financial Technologies

Financial technologies have been developing rapidly in recent years, unlocking significant opportunities to address the needs of the financially excluded. SANAD actively supports innovative “fintech” companies that contribute to financial inclusion and further assists its partner institutions in their efforts towards digitalization.

Refugee Financing

SANAD is also actively addressing the refugee crisis in the Middle East. The fund is working to expand access to financing for both refugees and their host communities, while the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility provides refugees with significant non-financial services.

How SANAD Works

Eligibility Criteria for Partner Institutions

SANAD partners with a broad spectrum of financial intermediaries that provide our target groups with access to finance. These include microfinance institutions (MFIs), commercial banks, leasing companies, and other financial service providers that meet these key criteria:

Target Group Orientation

  • Strategic orientation toward micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and segments of society with limited access to affordable housing or agricultural finance
  • Shared commitment to outreach, regional diversification, social impact, and financial innovation

Financial Strength

  • Solid financial track record and strong performance against KPIs and key ratios
  • Qualified management and sound internal systems and processes, e.g., risk management policies, management information systems, and internal controls

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Compliance

  • Promotion of good governance, integrity, and transparency standards
  • Adoption of local and international environmental and social standards
  • Adherence to principles of responsible finance

Institutional Structure

SANAD in Brief



STRUCTURE: Specialized Investment Fund, SICAV-SIF, under Luxembourg law involving different share classes


KfW Development Bank

SANAD in Numbers


Committed Capital:
Debt Sub-Fund

million USD

Committed Capital:
Equity Sub-Fund I

million USD

Committed Capital:
Equity Sub-Fund II

million USD

Committed Investment Portfolio Debt Sub-Fund

million USD

Cumulative Financing to MSMEs


Invested Assets Equity Sub-Fund


Invested Assets Equity Sub-Fund II

Investment Portfolio Committed per Country

Investment Portfolio Outstanding per Type of Partner Institution

Figures as of:

Q3 2023