INFRONT (Impact Investing in Frontier Markets)
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a pivotal role in driving economic growth in emerging economies, however face significant challenges to improving their businesses. INFRONT will work 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:
1) Investment: The Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 2 LP (SFMF 2 LP), a fund of $150 million, will invest in up to 18 local funds for onward investment in approximately 130 SMEs that have potential for high development impact.
2) Technical Assistance Facility:
a. Sustainability Innovation Grant Fund. This fund provides economic incentives for at least 30 SMEs that want to improve the sustainability of their operations, with a specific focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and practices.
b. Global Fund Manager Mentorship Program. This program will match 20 experienced North American venture capital and private equity managers as mentors with managers in frontier and emerging markets.
c. Impact Measurement. Building on existing social performance platforms, this element will systematically explore options and implement an Enhanced Monitoring and Evaluation System (EMES) to support more rigorous impact measurement.
Project Quick Facts
Goal: That women and men in emerging / frontier markets have access to products and services delivered more effectively and by more socially responsive firms.
Reach: 5,050,000 women and men (customers, employees and suppliers) in emerging/frontier markets.
Funding: INFRONT is a public private partnership with contributions from the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), MEDA, Sarona Asset Management and private investors.
Project Length: 2013 - 2017