Stockholm (NordSIP) – The Swedish Development Finance Institution (Swedfund) has announced an investment worth €5 million to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Swedfund is Sweden’s development finance institution for sustainable investments in developing countries. It seeks to invest in a world without poverty, with increasing access to renewable energy and healthcare. Swedfund is owned by the Swedish state and managed by the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. The operations are financed partly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible and thorough reflows from its portfolio. Swedfund was founded in 1979 and has made over 240 investments in more than 60 countries.
The €5 million investment was made to Platcorp, a financial institution providing credit to private individuals and SMEs in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Through this investment, Swedfund hopes to increase the liquidity available to SMEs in the region.
Founded in 2003 in Kenya, Platcorp expanded to Uganda in 2004 and Tanzania in 2008. It has has a loan portfolio of US$160 million across the three countries and made 826,000 loans to its clients in 2019. This is the second loan from Swedfund to Platcorp, with the first loan issued in 2018. With support from Swedfund’s facility for Technical Assistance, Platcorp has also developed its sustainability capabilities, among other things, by introducing a group-wide Environmental and Social Management System.
“It is urgent for us as a Development Finance Institution to strengthen the financial resilience of companies and protect jobs in developing countries. The Platcorp Group has a broad and efficient platform for providing access to financing for small and medium-sized companies in East Africa, which makes it possible for us to reach and support several companies,” says Maria Håkansson, CEO Swedfund.