Press release

Greening: Five million to benefit from impact investment

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New British support for the burgeoning impact investment market will help millions in the world's poorest countries.

Britain will help improve the lives of over five million people in Africa and Asia by boosting private investment into promising health, education and agriculture projects, Justine Greening said today.

The International Development Secretary announced two new programmes to train investors and help them to share best practice, supporting the burgeoning impact investment market.

Britain will also boost early stage investments in African farming and agriculture to help the continent escape the threat of hunger and malnutrition. A £50 million investment into the Agricultural Development Company (AgDevCo) will benefit 650,000 people across Africa with jobs and better incomes.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

Part of the solution to hunger in Africa is for Africa’s farmers and agricultural sector to be able to produce the food it needs for itself.

Smart UK investment like this will help thousands of farmers develop their businesses to grow food for millions, whilst generating revenues that can be reinvested back into Africa’s agricultural sector.

This sort of innovative, self-sustaining, job-creating investment which generates a return that can be itself reinvested will become an increasingly important part of DFID’s development approach.

The UK’s £75 million Impact Fund is expected to benefit five million people through access to affordable goods and services, employment and better incomes over the next thirteen years.

Britain’s investment in AgDevCo will:

  • Develop or expand 45 agribusinesses, 30 of which will be SMEs. AgDevCo predict this could increase the turnover in these countries by £60 million by 2018
  • Create 27,000 additional jobs and help 90,000 people to benefit from an average additional income of over $1000 per year over the next decade.
  • Improve irrigation and processing for commercial agribusiness for 49,000 farmers. By 2018, up to 30,000 additional hectares will be under irrigation.
  • Leverage up to £350 million in private sector investment in addition to the initial £50 million UK investment.

Justine Greening also announced:

  • The Advancing Impact Management Skills (AIMS) programme, which will train the new generation of impact investment professionals in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. This will increase local capacity, skills and expertise to develop and manage impact investments.
  • A new Fund Managers Network to help them collaborate and share best practice on investments in health, education, water and sanitation.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting a new award, for “Achievement in Impact Investing”, at the FT’s Sustainable Finance Awards.

Impact investments are made with the intent to generate both a social and a financial return. In the case of international development, these investments are targeted at enterprises that benefit poor people as consumers, producers, suppliers or employees.