SEAF - Small Enterprise Assistance Funds

03/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/01/2021 10:08

SEAF Partners with IDB Invest to Provide Funding to SMEs in the Caribbean

Posted at 10:48h
in Newsby Mara James

Washington, DC - March 1, 2021 - SEAF is pleased to announce that IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, has provided an equity investment in the SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund (the 'Fund'). The investment from IDB Invest is for up to the lesser of USD 10 million or 20% of the Fund's total commitments.

The SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund (the 'Fund') is a private equity vehicle that invests growth capital in fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the English-speaking CARICOM countries and Suriname. While sector agnostic, the Fund seeks opportunities in promising sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, agribusiness, healthcare, training and education, information and communication technology, financial inclusion, renewable and clean energy services, retail distribution, and transport and logistics. Like all SEAF funds, the Fund aims to generate both attractive financial returns and strong social impact by providing equity and active business partnerships to companies that have traditionally lacked access to institutional risk capital. The majority of the Fund's investors are local private and public institutions in the Caribbean.

IDB Invest has also mobilized a USD 10 million blended finance loan to support the Fund's portfolio companies to implement a broad range of investment projects providing for increased climate resilience/adaptation, climate mitigation, and post-disaster recovery, with support from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas - Phase II.

In addition to the financing made available, IDB Invest will also be offering technical assistance to the Fund's portfolio companies on governance, local value chains, and climate resilience. The combination of equity and blended loan financing and strategic advisory services will support the Fund's portfolio companies' efficiency and local and regional expansion, create jobs, increase productivity, and further integrate the CARICOM region.

'We are delighted to partner with IDB Invest in expanding the reach of the Fund. IDB Invest agrees with the existing investors of the Fund and with SEAF, both as to the opportunities for private equity investment in fast-growing SMEs in the Region, but also in the vital role private equity can play in the post-COVID repositioning and growth of such companies,' stated SEAF co-CEO Bert van der Vaart.

Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager for IDB's Caribbean Country Group and Jamaica's Country Representative noted 'SMEs have always been powerful drivers of economic activity and equality in the Caribbean. And this investment in the SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund comes at a time when Caribbean businesses need all the help they can get to not only recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also harness new opportunities from the crisis.'

Regarding the transaction, James Scriven, CEO of IDB Invest said 'We are proud to join forces with an experienced impact investor like SEAF to unlock sustainable growth at this critical time in the Caribbean, generating more jobs and promoting development.'

About SEAF

For more than thirty years, SEAF has been a leader in the impact investing space. Through forty funds and more than 430 investments, SEAF has invested over $560m into small and medium-sized companies, driving value-added growth and innovation while promoting gender equality and ESG best practices. Central to SEAF's impact thesis is the building of resiliency within its countries of operation, with a focus on climate, food security, and inclusion. The SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund is SEAF's Caribbean focused vehicle and is managed by SEAF's local affiliate, SEAF Caribbean Management LLC.

About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social and environmental development in the Region. With a portfolio of $13.1 billion in asset management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.

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