The Microfinance Enhancement Facility was initiated in 2009 by KfW (German state-owned development bank) and IFC (International Finance Corporation) as a joint initiative with OeEB (the Development Bank of Austria). MEF seeks to support economic development and prosperity globally through the provision of short and medium-term financing to financial institutions which support microfinance and micro-enterprises (MFIs).
The Fund aims to support economic development and prosperity globally through the provision of short and medium-term financing to financial institutions which support microfinance and micro-enterprises (MFIs) facing difficulties in securing financing. In pursuing its development goal, the Fund will observe principles of sustainability and additionality, combining development and market orientations.
Co-advised by four leading private investment advisors (BlueOrchard Finance AG, Incofin Investment Management, responsAbility Investments AG and Symbiotics SA), MEF’s objective is to ensure that microfinance continues to stimulate growth, create jobs and reduce poverty in emerging markets.
Positioned as an efficient microfinance debt fund MEF financing provides an important market signalling effect and contributes to stabilising and strengthening the provision of responsible financial services to support income generation and employment that improve livelihoods of low income households.
As a demand-oriented Fund seeking to respond to the needs of the market and of individual MFIs, since inception MEF has supported low income borrowers by providing over USD 2 billion to more than 250 financial institutions active in the microfinance space in about 55 developing countries worldwide.