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14.03.2012

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MicroWorld

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Oxfam takes part in microfinance fund

Financial times

Sixty years after its creation in Oxford in 1942 during the Battle of Britain, Oxfam GB is innovating in the world of microfinance. The NGO has just announced a partnership with the Swiss company Symbiotics, an intermediary between Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and asset management companies / institutional investors. The two partners are creating a microfinance fund specialising in financing businesses in Africa and Asia with at least five employees.

The aim of the new fund is to raise 100 million dollars from investors for creating 100,000 jobs in 5 years. It will invest with financial intermediaries and MFIs according to financial and social criteria (following impact investing principles). The MFIs will use the money to lend to businesses, particularly in the agricultural sector, according to Oxfam. This sector is in fact a priority for Oxfam, author of the “Grow” campaign, launched in 2011 in numerous countries, to raise public awareness of agricultural issues in the world. More generally, one of the reasons for this new initiative is that medium-sized businesses are having real problems finding funds for their development.