Dominga Colmán runs a hardware store in the town of Itá, Paraguay. With help from a microloan she was able to improve her buying terms and expand her product inventory. She is one of 6.6 million entrepreneurs in developing countries who have been able to grow their businesses with the help of money from SEB’s second microfinance fund, which was closed in 2019.
The fund opened in 2014 and was closed in 2019. Via microfinance institutions, the fund’s capital has been invested in 32 emerging markets. At the same time, the investors – mainly Nordic financial institutions – received a total return of 49.7% over the five-year period.
“Microfinancing is one of the most established forms of impact investing and has been cited by the UN as a key enabler for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Camilla Löwenhielm, who manages the fund.
“Microfinancing gives the investors an opportunity to contribute to socioeconomic development in emerging markets and at the same time earn a favourable return.”
SEB launched its first microfinance fund in 2013 and was thereby a pioneer among Swedish banks. Today SEB is one of the largest microfinance fund managers in Europe and since the start has launched seven funds for a total value of SEK 9bn. The funds’ proceeds have reached more than 25 million entrepreneurs in 59 developing countries.
Work is conducted in cooperation with Symbiotics, which is one of the world’s largest platforms for impact investing in developing countries. Symbiotics has local relationships with more than 400 microfinance institutions around the world.
You can read more about Dominga Colmán in Paraguay and other entrepreneurs who have benefited from SEB’s second microfinance fund in the fund’s final report, which has now been published.
Read the report