IFU, Norfund in Nordic microfinance scheme
Two Nordic aid-financed investment funds have joined forces with private Norwegian investors in the launch of the Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI).
Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) will contribute 55 per cent of the DKK 575 million in capital, with the investors providing the remaining amount. Ferd, one of Norway’s largest private companies, is one of the private investors.
NMI extends the work of the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative, established back in 2008, and will invest on a commercial and socially sustainable basis in medium-sized financial institutions in East Africa and South and South-East Asia that have a potential for further growth.The new Nordic scheme has already invested in the Kenyan Women’s Financial Trust, which offers financial services to 800,000 women in all parts of Kenya.
Managing Director of Norfund Kjell Roland says that with IFU on the team, NMI will provide financial services for even larger numbers of people, giving priority to women.
“Microfinance is a vital development policy instrument,” said Kristian Jensen, Danish Foreign Minister.