MEDA began as an investment in Sarona Dairy, formed in Paraguay in 1953 and continues to play a leading role in investment for development today. In 2018, our investment outreach benefitted over one million households, while 90,000 women, men and youth participated in MEDA programs.
Experienced offering distinctive catalytic financial mechanisms through our own impact investment fund (MEDA Risk Capital Fund), or in collaboration with private equity and asset management firms, we finance investment companies and funds; build platforms that strengthen ecosystems; lead innovative finance initiatives; and make direct investments into small and medium enterprises (SMEs). MEDA raises debt and equity from private investors, public sources and institutional donors.
To support investments and projects, MEDA develops technical assistance packages, delivering services directly to funds and SMEs, or building the capacity of local partners to do so. Technical assistance can look like coaching investment fund managers, managing challenge grant programs for SMEs, training on environment, social and governance (ESG), and gender equality mainstreaming. MEDA initiatives couple investment with other project activities to accelerate the development of value chains, women’s entrepreneurship, climate-smart agriculture and youth employment.
MEDA continues to invest in a wide range of businesses from microfinance banks in Tajikistan and Nicaragua, equipment leasing firms in Tanzania and Ukraine, and agricultural processing companies in Sierra Leone and Paraguay. These investments often align with MEDA projects, enhancing our ability to achieve development impact in countries hampered by a lack of capital.
To support the development of financial ecosystems and outreach to people experiencing poverty, MEDA provides capital to investment companies and funds such as BPI Investment Funds in Sub-Saharan Africa and Women’s World Banking Capital Partners’ global investment fund. We target investments for critical development goals such as green growth, gender inclusion and poverty alleviation.
An early leader in innovative finance, MEDA has partnered with the Government of Canada to pilot the use of concessionary finance to raise private capital for development-related investments. We are also engaged with a range of public and private partners in the deployment of a new global gender lens fund.
MEDA delivers gender lens technical assistance to investment funds and businesses, along with program-led investments to build gender-equitable markets, leading to more sustainable and inclusive economic growth for all.
MEDA’s latest publication outlines the key characteristics, influencing environment, and needs of women-owned businesses in order to support investors and technical assistance providers in Africa to adopt a gender lens within their current practices and policies.