INFRONT: Impact Investing in Frontier Markets
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a pivotal role in driving economic growth in emerging economies, however they face significant challenges to improving their businesses.
INFRONT is working throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America to expand the ability of SMEs to access investment capital, adopt and implement enlightened business practices, and accurately measure social impact.
Led by MEDA, and in partnership with Sarona Asset Management and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, INFRONT is comprised of two key components:
- Investment: The Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 2 LP (SFMF 2 LP), a fund of $150 million, is investing in up to 18 local funds for onward investment in approximately 130 SMEs that have potential for high development impact. Investors include OPIC, MEDA, Sarona, and private investors, spurred by an innovative and catalytic $15 million contribution from Global Affairs Canada.
- Technical Assistance Facility. The technical assistance facility is made up of three components:
- Sustainability Innovation Grant Fund. This fund provides economic incentives for at least 30 SMEs to improve the sustainability of their operations, with a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and practices.
- Global Fund Manager Mentorship Program. This program will match 20 experienced North America private equity managers as mentors with fund managers in frontier and emerging markets.
- Impact Measurement. Building on existing social performance platforms, MEDA is developing an Enhanced Monitoring and Evaluation System (EMES) to support more rigourous impact measurement.