Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) help satisfy local demand for services, offer local employment, and provide larger firms with inputs and services. Access to capital is often a major constraint for SMEs; local commercial banks might perceive them as being too "risky" to qualify for traditional loans. Yet, SMEs are often too large to qualify for support from microfinance programmes.

Investing in SME Funds contributes to building and developing local businesses as the local Fund Managers can provide SME entrepreneurs with access to risk capital, as well as advice and support.

Norfund's strategy

Norfund invests in private equity and venture capital funds that target SMEs in need of early phase or growth capital. Our investments in SME funds are important because they help us to reach more enterprises than we could on our own. The investments in the target market must offer something distinctly different to what is currently available or target unserved sections of the market.

We invest in funds in which our participation can have a significant additional effect. Norfund always seeks to be an active owner and places particular importance on how the portfolio of fund investments is managed.

Example investees

GroFin - a development financier specialising in financing and supporting SMEs across Africa and the Middle East.

Agri-Vie - a Fund that exclusively focuses on investing in SMEs in the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Full investment overview