In 2011, the assets managed by responsAbility passed the USD 1 billion mark. Investments reached 748,000 microfinance clients worldwide, around 57,000 more than the previous year. Volumes of fair trade financing grew by almost 50% from USD 35.9 million to USD 53.5 million. Funding for independent media provided via investment vehicles gave around 38 million people in young democracies access to objective news coverage. Newly opened offices, an expanded range of products, and targeted new hires reflected responsAbility’s investment in its own growth. A particular area of focus for responsAbility in 2012 will be the ongoing development of its range of products and services benefiting lower-income households in developing and emerging economies.
Zurich - Fair trade is one of the fastest-growing sectors worldwide. In view of the continued high demand for fair trade products, responsAbility – one of the most important asset managers in the fair trade sector – also foresees solid performance for this market over the longer term. In view of World Fair Trade Day on May 12, 2012, this is an encouraging signal not only for producers and consumers, but also for investors looking to earn a financial return while at the same time making a positive social impact.
responsAbility’s Social Performance Report 2011 once again underscores the positive impact of the company’s investment activity in developing economies and emerging markets. In 2010 the three microfinance funds managed by responsAbility helped give 16 million people access to financial services. responsAbility is also actively engaged in enabling microfinance institutions to further develop their range of services to clients. The more varied the products and services offered by an institution, the greater the social impact it will have.
Based on its prominent role in the field of social investments, responsAbility is stepping up efforts to further expand its financing activities in developing countries and emerging markets through a strategic investment in PlaNIS, a subsidiary of PlaNet Finance Group. The cooperation will lead to integrated investment processes, expanded local presence and increased synergies with PlaNet Finance Group.
responsAbility is launching responsAbility Ventures I, the first venture capital fund under Swiss law investing in companies with development impact. The new vehicle gives qualified investors access to promising early-stage markets at the base of the global income pyramid, investing in companies with high growth potential and development impact.