Annual Report 2019
BIO has published its annual report for 2019.
We are BIO. We are responsible impact investors, driven by our quest to create both economic and social prosperity in developing and emerging countries. Our vision and objective are sustainable livelihoods for everybody on our planet. As such, we invest in entrepreneurs, financial institutions and funds in Africa, Latin America and Asia, allowing them to survive, thrive and create economic welfare in their communities.
Impact investing is how BIO supports and actively contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We do not operate on our own: we create solid partnerships with our portfolio companies and other stakeholders. Together, we share a common objective, and that is to improve the lives of, especially, the poor.
The people of our portfolio companies are on a quest. As investors, we are determined to support them to realize the opportunities and deal successfully with the risks they are facing. We look beyond what is obvious. We do not limit ourselves to low-hanging fruit, but are relentlessly curious and open-minded, spending weeks, months or even years to explore and develop innovative solutions for our clients’ aims and challenges. Together with our clients, we are on a journey towards a decent livelihood for all.
Some 2019 highlights
- BIO made 31 new commitments, totaling EUR 199 million. This brought the total net signed commitments up to EUR 783 million.
- BIO signed up to the 2X Challenge, which calls for DFIs to join together to collectively mobilise USD 3 billion in gender-smart investments.
- BIO made its first investments out of a new facility targeting projects with a particularly high development impact but with high risks and relatively lower expected financial return: Fairtrade Access Fund and Alterfin.
- BIO launched the SDG Frontier Fund, enabling private individual and institutional investors to co-invest with BIO into private equity SME Funds.
- BIO reached over EUR 1 billion in investment capital
- BIO refreshed its baseline: “Investing in a sustainable future”, expressing our aspiration for sustainable livelihoods all around the globe.
Business continuity planning is a component of building business resilience in normal times and is especially critical in cases of large disasters. For businesses to survive, they must be able to adapt their operations to the new environment.
BIO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, will provide emergency financing to its portfolio companies to support their continuity in times of the covid pandemic.
Financial return is worth twice as much if it also helps the world move forward. The Belgian government and business world collect 50 million euros for sustainable investments in the African and Asian private sector. "Investing is better than giving," says driving force Alexander De Croo, Minister of Development Cooperation. "You will only see a return on your investment if it has really made a difference."