IFC commits USD 10m to SEAF Bangladesh Ventures

Washington – Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) announces that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has made a USD 10 million investment into SEAF Bangladesh Ventures (SEAF BV), SEAF’s investment vehicle in Bangladesh which has been actively investing in fast growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since 2010. This is the second investment by IFC into SEAF BV, with the first occurring in 2010.

For more information on the program, visit www.seaf.com/seaf-bangladesh-ventures.

IFC made its commitment through the IFC and Climate Investment Funds-Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (CIF-PPCR). The scope of this program is to offer finance solutions to SMEs, focusing on those that are targeting climate change and environmental issues. CIF-PPCR is allocating USD 110 million in grants and financing to Bangladesh, which is targeted to “enable Bangladesh to make strategic investments in critical areas of climate resilience planning and implementation in a manner consistent with its poverty reduction and sustainable development objectives.”

For SEAF, the investment will allow SEAF BV to expand its mission of providing risk capital to an underserved market. Bangladesh is a growing emerging market, with a population of more than 160 million and an economy that grew an estimated 7.1% in 2017, per World Bank forecasts. SMEs account for more than 99% of private sector entities in the nation, and with that provide employment opportunities to a majority of the population. SEAF has seen that by investing in and advising SMEs, the companies can impact their local communities through jobs, goods & services, and local taxes paid. As of December 2016, the SEAF BV portfolio has realized aggregate turnover growth, in USD terms, of 19% CAGR, and net growth in employment of more than 51%.

As of May 2017, SEAF BV has made fourteen investments into twelve SMEs. The portfolio companies are working in renewable energy, information technology, agribusiness, and manufacturing. SEAF BV has realized one exit, divesting its position in Solaric in 2015.

“IFC’s extended support over the years has been invaluable in the success of SEAF BV and many of SEAF’s funds internationally. SEAF strongly believes in the ability of Bangladesh and its entrepreneurs to achieve sustained growth and positive economic impact, while providing investors attractive returns,” said Bert van der Vaart, CEO of SEAF. “IFC’s engagement will also help SEAF BV to factor in climate resilience activities for its investees, helping them and the Bangladesh economy to cope better with the adverse impacts of climate change.”

About SEAF

SEAF is an SEC registered, impact investment fund manager, investing risk capital and providing business support to growth-oriented SMEs in frontier and emerging markets. Having made more than $400 million in SME investments across a wide range of sectors, SEAF funds seek to deliver both financial returns and social and environmental impact for investors. SEAF, which is based in Washington, D.C., has managed over 35 investment funds and vehicles over 28 years and across 27 countries. SEAF also operates the Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development – CEED – an entrepreneur-focused program that provides advisory, mentoring, and networking opportunities across 13 global locations. www.seaf.com and www.ceed-global.org.

About SEAF BV

SEAF Bangladesh Ventures (SEAF BV) provides high-growth SMEs with structured capital and quasi-equity investments. The company focuses exclusively on providing growth and working capital to promising companies of this size in Bangladesh. SEAF BV was conceived through the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) SME Ventures Program – an initiative designed to support risk capital financing to SMEs in underserved emerging markets. SEAF BV focuses on key sectors in Bangladesh that represent strong growth opportunities but lack access to traditional sources of finance. http://www.seafbv.com/

For more information on SEAF and SEAF Bangladesh Ventures, please contact Robert Vodicka at rvodicka@seaf.com or +1-202-567-2499