Zurich – In their latest study entitled 'The Microfinance Revolution in East Africa', the economists at responsAbility explore key developments in the financial sector from an emerging markets perspective. The study analyzes how the new products, services and distribution channels collectively known as 'microfinance' have revolutionized the financial sector in the region and how they are now being further strengthened by technology. The economists conclude that East Africa, in particular, has become a center of financial sector innovation, paving the way for the much swifter inclusion of rural populations in the financial system and increasing the market potential of microfinance.
Zurich – responsAbility, one of the world’s leading asset managers in the field of development-related investments, has published a study of coffee growing in Costa Rica. Based on this example, responsAbility identifies three key criteria for success in developing sustainable agriculture: outline conditions favorable to development, strong producer organizations, and access to finance. Investments in fair trade are not only financially attractive but, according to this study, also help small farmers in developing economies to earn a better living.
Zurich – responsAbility, one of the world’s leading private investors in the area of development-related financing, presents the third successive edition of its annual Microfinance Market Outlook. The central message for 2013 is that solid return potential, sustained low volatility and a contribution to social development in the investment countries will continue to create a positive outlook in microfinance investments.
In their latest study, responsAbility’s economic experts explore the social and economic impact of investments in the Indian health care market. India’s fast- growing population with its increasing purchasing power provides for a sustained increase in demand for affordable health care services. At the same time, more and more companies are offering such service solutions, creating a great opportunity for investors to participate in the growth of the Indian health care industry while generating positive social impact.
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.