BIO invests in the Indian MFI Annapurna

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On March 21st 2014, BIO signed an equity investment agreement with Annapurna Microfinance Private Limited (AMPL), an MFI working with women entrepreneurs in 2 of the poorest states in India. AMPL saw the light as a microfinance initiative of a local NGO, People’s Forum, in the early nineties to provide microloans to women in mainly rural areas. Access to finance in rural areas in India is very limited and AMPL focusses on areas that are difficult to reach and are largely overseen by the commercial financial services.

AMPL applies a group lending methodology: all loans are provided through so-called Self-Help Groups of 8 to 20 women who have been saving together for at least six months and who have received training from AMPL. AMPL does not only provide microfinance loans, they also provide business development services and have developed financial products specifically for their clients, such as water and sanitation loans.

AMPL is increasing its capital with INR 300 million (EUR 3,6 million) to support the expansion of its services: by 2017, AMPL is aiming at considerably expanding its outreach in largely underserved areas. BIO’s investment amounts to EUR 3 million. The Rural Impulse Fund II, managed by Incofin IM, is a shareholder in the MFI since 2012, and will also participate in the current capital round. This partnership allows BIO and Incofin to proactively support AMPL’s strategy and governance. Moreover, it is a clear sign to private investors to gain confidence in the MFI and encourage future commercial funding.

Read more on BIO's investment in Annapurna.