Finnfund – Co-investment with University of Helsinki into Microfinancing in Africa and Asia

We advised Finnfund in the co-investment structuring of their debt facility commitment to the Advans Group, a leading international microfinance group serving over one million clients in nine countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Myanmar. The University of Helsinki is participating in this investment with Finnfund. Through this funding, Finnfund and the University of Helsinki aim to generate funding for micro and small businesses and promote responsible business practices and gender equality within microfinancing.

Finnfund is a Finnish development financier and professional impact investor. Finnfund builds a sustainable world by investing in responsible and profitable businesses in developing countries. Each year Finnfund invests EUR 200–250 million in 20–30 projects, emphasising renewable energy, sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture and financial institutions. Today Finnfund’s investments and commitments total about EUR 957 million, half of them in Africa. The company has approximately 90 employees.

The University of Helsinki is Finland’s oldest and largest university. It is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research universities and is regularly ranked among the top one hundred universities in the world. Its assets amount to more than two billion euros and include more than half a billion euros in financial securities. The University of Helsinki aspires to be among the top ten educational endowment investors globally. The primary goal of its investment activities is to increase its financial stability and independence.

Advans’ mission is to provide client-centric financial services to small businesses and under-served populations in a sustainable and responsible manner. The Advans Group currently operates in nine countries in Africa and Asia. As at end December 2020, the group served over one million clients and employed more than 7,500 staff, with a Gross Loan Portfolio of over 1 billion euros and a total of EUR 670 million in savings deposits. Headquartered in Luxembourg with its support services in Paris, the group’s shareholders are EIB, KfW, FMO, CDC Group plc, FISEA (AFD Group), IFC and Advans Invest.