SEB dives deeper into the world of microfinance

SEB is the largest microfinance fund provider in the Nordics, and a new fund launch is imminent. But will the historically reliable asset class withstand the impact of a global economic shutdown? Swiss microfinance firm Symbiotics sees investment opportunities emerging from the crisis - and different types of investor are starting to embrace the asset class.

Dominga Colmán got a microloan to expand her hardware stores' inventory. | Photo: PR / SEB

In the town of Itá in Paraguay, Dominga Colmán runs a hardware store, and has benefited from a microloan which helped her to expand her product inventory. She was one of 6.6 million entrepreneurs in emerging and frontier markets who was able to grow their business with capital from SEB's second microfinance fund. The fund opened in 2014 and closed in 2019. 

The fund's capital was invested across 32 markets via so-called microfinance institutions. Microfinance institutions are organizations which provide loans to entrepreneurs and range in size from super national development banks such as the World Bank's IFC to national institutions such as Swedfund all the way down to private microfinance funds.

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