Project profile — A New Partnership for Sustainable Impact Investing in Frontier Markets


Mennonite Economic DevelopmentAssociates of Canada (CA-CRA_ACR-0010011098)
2013-06-21 - 2028-06-21
Global Affairs Canada
MFM Global Issues & Dev.Branch

Country / region 

• Africa, regional (30.00%)
• America, regional (30.00%)
• Asia, regional (40.00%)


• Banking And Financial Services: Formal sector financial intermediaries (24030) (40.00%)
• Business And Other Services: Business support services and institutions (25010) (20.00%)
• Industry: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development (32130) (40.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (significant objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


This project aims to reduce poverty by supporting the development of small and medium enterprises, which play a vital role in creating jobs and generating wealth in developing country markets. The project supports the launch of a 15-year investment fund that leverages private equity investment of up to $400 million to help up to 250 of the most promising small and medium enterprises in developing countries grow, thereby creating at least 15,000 new jobs. Through investments and technical assistance, the project also aims to increase access to products and services for up to 10,000,000 individuals, improve socially responsible business practices and generate additional revenues for small and medium enterprises and governments. This project is a collaboration among the Mennonite Economic Development Associates, Sarona Asset Management, and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. The project is part of Canada's commitment to promoting sustainable economic growth globally.

Expected results 

The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: over the life of the fund, (i) expanded and improved investment services provided by 12 to 18 investment funds to up to 250 small and medium enterprises; and (ii) strengthened capacity for economic growth, job creation, reporting and social impact among 15 to 20 investment firms and up to 250 small- and medium- sized enterprises.

Results achieved 

Results achieved as of March 2023 include: (1) raised USD 150 million (CAD 193 million) from the private sector and made available for investment in Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, Asia, and South America; (2) created 83,877 jobs (44% for women) through funding to 129 SMEs; (3) generated $2.9 billion in tax revenues to local governments through investee SMEs’ contributions; (4) supported 18 investment funds to integrate gender equality, environment, and governance considerations into their business operations; and (5) 19 experienced North American mentors (50% Canadians) mentored 15 investment managers and 61 investment professionals (33% women) to improve their business competence.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $0
Planned disbursement $0
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral
Type of aid Project-type interventions
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