Higher impact portfolio

We create higher impact by focusing our activities on SDGs and markets that are key to economic, environmental and social progress. We aim to create a higher impact portfolio by focusing investments on three SDGs across all our sectors: Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10), and Climate Action (SDG 13). Through our sector-specific strategies, we also contribute to Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Renewable and Affordable Energy (SDG 7), and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17). Meanwhile, we contribute to other SDGs by ensuring our investments comply with international ESG standards and policies.

SDG 8 | Decent Work and Economic Growth

The central goal of SDG 8 is economic growth and decent work for all. By investing in underserved markets, we support jobs, improved labor standards and economic prosperity. Jobs allow people to develop themselves and lift their families out of poverty. We focus specifically on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as studies have shown that SMEs are important job generators but their financing needs are often underserved.

SDG 10 | Reduced Inequalities

Inequality within and among countries remains a key issue in the world. SDG 10 is about promoting social and economic inclusion of all, which we support by investing in the world’s poorest countries and inclusive businesses. Reducing inequality also strives for gender equality as women are often underserved in low-income countries. By investing in inclusive businesses we support the expansion of access to goods, services and livelihood opportunities to low-income and underserved populations. We furthermore focus our investments on increasing access to reliable and sustainable energy. 

SDG 13 | Climate Action

We all experience the effects of climate change. Each country has a responsibility to contribute to solutions that limit the global mean temperature increase to below 2 degrees. An annual injection of approximately US$100 billion[1] is needed (and more is likely required) to help developing countries to adapt to climate change and invest in low-carbon developments.

By investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase resource efficiency, preserve and grow natural capital and support climate adaptation and resilience we aim to support the transformation of our countries to meet this global challenge.

Focus markets

We maintain a wide geographical spread to optimize our impact and diversify risks, while prioritizing regions and countries where development impact is needed the most. We focus more on countries in Africa, Asia and the European Neighborhood. We continue to invest in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing our efforts on opportunities to achieve impact at scale by leveraging our strong network and customer relationships.

We focus on three sectors that – in our view – are crucial to a country’s economic and social progress:

  1. Agribusiness, food & water |This sector can ensure that by 2050, 9 billion people have access to food and that the environmental and social footprint is minimized. To this end, we invest in advanced technologies and apply international standards. We finance sustainable agribusiness companies throughout the value chain including those that make agriculture more water-efficient. We also invest in forestry.

  2. Energy | 940 million people lack access to energy. Electricity is crucial for poverty alleviation, economic growth and improved living standards.[2] We invest in renewable energy as well as in projects that provide access to energy in less developed economies.

  3. Financial institutions | Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are a key driver of economic development, innovation and employment. However, access to finance is often a barrier to growth.[3] A healthy financial sector can bolster entrepreneurs and individuals. We provide long-term funding, risk capital and local currency financing and focus on SME financing. We also promote green lines and look for business models that serve the unbanked.