SIFEM commits USD 15 million in first close of SPE PEF III fund

June 20243 min readFinancial InclusionEmerging Markets, Impact, Private EquityFund of Funds

Zurich, 25 June 2024 – responsAbility, the leading Swiss impact asset manager, announces its contribution to the successful first close of the SPE Private Equity Fund (SPE PEF III) with commitments totalling USD 140 million. The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) committed USD 15 million, marking a significant step forward in driving impactful investments across North Africa. responsAbility has been managing SIFEM's portfolio since March 1, 2023, bringing extensive expertise in impact investing to support SIFEM’s mission.

Africa faces significant challenges with youth unemployment. An estimated one-third of young people aged 15-35 are unemployed or discouraged, and another third are vulnerably employed1. With millions of young people entering the labour market, the need for decent jobs is growing. The SPE PEF III fund will support the creation of better jobs and management positions for young employees, particularly in North Africa. The fund manager will help mobilize additional financing for growth companies.

Investing in SMEs in North Africa

SPE PEF III is a generalist private equity fund investing in fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) primarily in North Africa. The fund targets key sectors such as healthcare, education, manufacturing and processing, and business services. SIFEM’s USD 15 million commitment will provide essential growth capital to SMEs and fast-growing companies with strong operational and financial track records. The fund will make majority or significant minority investments with a hands-on, value-added approach.

Impact on North Africa

responsAbility is proud to support a long-term partner with an excellent track record alongside other development finance institutions (DFIs). Ralph Keitel, Head of Fund of Funds Investments at responsAbility, said: "We are proud to support our existing client SPE in achieving a first close for the PEF III fund, to drive impactful investments in North Africa. With SIFEM's support, we aim to scale up our efforts to foster economic development, create quality jobs, and promote sustainable growth in North Africa. This is in line with our vision of a sustainable world with access to opportunities for all, supporting inclusive growth in emerging markets."

responsAbility's role in SIFEM’s mandate

responsAbility has been managing SIFEM's portfolio since March 1, 2023, bringing extensive expertise in impact investing to support SIFEM’s mission. This role includes driving investments that promote long-term, sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries. SIFEM is the Swiss government’s development finance institution (DFI) and one of the instruments of economic development cooperation. The fund focuses on promoting sustainable economic growth, developing markets and creating decent jobs in emerging markets. In addition, SIFEM aims to contribute to climate protection and is committed to gender equality through the economic empowerment of women. Since its inception in 2011, SIFEM has invested around USD 1.2 billion, primarily in private equity funds and financial institutions.

About responsAbility Investments AG responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact asset manager specializing in private market investments across three investment themes. These themes directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. All responsAbility investment solutions target specific measurable impact alongside market returns. 

Since its inception in 2003, responsAbility has deployed over USD 15.3 billion in impact investments. With over 270 employees collaborating across 8 offices, as of 30 June 2024 the company manages USD 5.0 billion in assets across approximately 280 portfolio companies in around 70 countries. Since 2022, responsAbility has been part of M&G plc, the international savings, and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing.

1African Development Bank Group: Job youth Africa (


Richard Rogers
responsAbility Investments AG
+41 44 403 2151

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