COVID-19 CoP Finance & Outreach

Second call Community of Practice Finance & Outreach – June 5, 2020

On June 5, 2020, the second online meeting of the Food security and COVID-19 Community of Practice on Finance & Outreach was organized. Participating organizations were: convener NpM, ICCO, Solidaridad, 2SCALE, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), SNV, One Acre Fund, and OikoCredit. Representatives from the IGG department – acting as co-convener – and the DDE department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MinFA) were present as well; the CoP is supported by the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP).

After the introduction of the new members Oikocredit and One Acre Fund, an update was provided on the country mapping. Even including the new members, overlapping countries of focus remained Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Members noted that Ethiopia is difficult to work with for impact investors as the only way to get money out of this country is via equity with a 10-15 year investment horizon. It was decided to investigate together with the CoP Markets if their initiatives in these countries may be complemented by access to finance components.

The main discussion of this meeting focused on the proposed thematic agenda for this Community of Practice (see below). Interest of the Community of Practice members was found mainly for topics 1. and 4. – to set criteria for funding facilities by impact investors, DFIs and multilateral organizations; and to collaborate on trying to set up an emergency fund. As a result, CoP participants committed to set up a term sheet for an emergency fund or guarantee in a smaller working group of interested organizations.

Proposed thematic agenda

  1. Collaborate to set criteria for funding facilities initiated by impact investors, DFIs, and multilateral organizations to increase availability of smaller sized tickets for financial healthy MSMEs and cooperatives.
  2. Collaborate on ground level to roll-out and promote 2scale’s crowdfunding platform, starting with priority countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina-Faso and Ivory Coast. Second phase, is to link with Solidaridad PlusPus platform to push smaller sized tickets towards recovery of MSMEs.
  3. Collaborate to find FSPs willing to push immediate liquidity in the supply- and value chain, ranging from farm-input purchasing level, SMEs (Agri sector) to final products on shelves. This to prevent hunger and the default of many local MSMEs.
  4. Collaborate to set up (emergency) fund, backed by capital from MoFA, with a pipeline built by this group to support investees (MSMEs, cooperatives), programs, supply chains and digitally enabled solutions.