Press Release: Missio Invest Secures $20 Million Anchor Investment from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
Loan Facility to Support Initiatives Addressing Food Security, Financial Inclusion, and Health and Education Outreach in Sub-Saharan Africa
NEW YORK, NY – March 17, 2021 – Missio Invest, an impact investor that provides loans and technical assistance to social enterprises operated by the Catholic Church in Africa, today announced that it has secured a $20 million loan facility from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (the “DFC”) for the Missio Invest Social Impact Fund (“MISIF” or the “Fund”). The investment will support MISIF’s lending to agricultural, financial inclusion, health and education institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Founded in 2014, Missio Invest works through an extensive network of Church-owned agribusiness, healthcare and education enterprises to drive change and positive outcomes in the communities they serve. Through MISIF, Missio Invest provides training, technical assistance and investment capital to improve food security, support local jobs, and increase climate resilience. The Fund’s investments also enable investees to generate stable recurring income, which sustains and expands their schools, hospitals, and other social institutions, serving communities’ needs, caring for the most vulnerable and strengthening existing social service operations. MISIF also provides Church-affiliated local financial institutions with investment and advisory to increase offerings to underserved groups. These investments help beneficiaries to provide affordable financing and banking services to women, youth and rural communities, among others, while also ensuring the local entities’ long-term financial sustainability.
Leveraging the Church’s presence in Africa of 74,000 Sisters and nearly 50,000 priests and brothers that oversee a vast pastoral network of schools and clinics, Missio Invest has grown significantly since its inception six years ago. Its portfolio now supports 588,200 students educated in 668 schools and nearly two million people served in over 950 social outreach facilities. Missio Invest has made 40 loans totaling $4.5 million to 38 agribusinesses, one microfinance institution, and one school across six countries, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, and is actively expanding to other countries in West Africa (Ghana) and East Africa (Rwanda, Ethiopia). An impact-first fund that evaluates success by measuring its investments’ effect on jobs, food security, resilience, and access to basic services, Missio Invest has supported 2,000 local jobs, trained over 4,300 farmers, generated over $3 million per year for local economies through wages and payments to local suppliers, and brought more than 9,800 acres of land under sustainable management.
The DFC investment joins a pool of blended capital from catalytic investors that will enable investment in agribusiness, as well as microfinance, education, and healthcare institutions. Missio Invest expects to lend $40 million to at least 240 enterprises over the next five years.
“Missio Invest is reaching the underserved and often overlooked communities of entrepreneurs in Africa, some 40% of whom are women, who we believe are real agents of change generating economic growth for the common good on the continent,” said Missio Invest CEO, Father Andrew Small, OMI. “Unlike grants, MISIF’s loans act as catalytic investments, helping investees to create recurring local income to sustain and expand their social service programs. We believe that the Development Finance Corporation’s anchor investment is a testament to the strength of our impact investing model, and we are pleased to have a strong partner to advance our shared goal of creating decent work, reliable income and care of our common home. We are encouraged by the social impact we’ve seen and would encourage all those who have declared a commitment to impact investing to translate those commitments into areas where they can have some of the greatest impact.”
About Missio Invest
Missio Invest has developed a unique model to drive change via the Church’s vast network of existing social service organizations, the land attached to those organizations, and the people who run them. Founded in 2014 by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States (TPMS-USA), Missio Invest is a new vehicle to strengthen the network of crucial services in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Church-run schools and health facilities are attached to an abundance of farmable land, much of it underutilized due to lack of funds and commercial experience. Missio Invest provides financing for not only agribusinesses, but also health and education enterprises as well as Church-run financial institutions that administer loans and banking products in underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.missioinvest.org.
Kelly Sullivan / Kate Thompson / Tanner Kaufman
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher