The 2008 global financial crisis and the subsequent liquidity shortage among traditional financial institutions highlighted the need for targeted financing for small and medium enterprises in emerging markets, which suffer disproportionally from contractions in investment capital. To meet this need, SEAF, in cooperation with Calvert Group through its Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund, launched the SEAF Global SME Facility (SGSF) in October 2009. An equity facility, SGSF primarily co-invests with the OPIC-funded SEAF SME Debt Facility in current SEAF portfolio companies, and will potentially invest in new opportunities. The partnership leverages the existing SEAF infrastructure, including fund management offices in Latin America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe, with centralized credit review, risk management, and financial controls based in Washington, D.C.
SGSF is a global vehicle that enables high impact investments to support the growth and expansion of promising businesses. By promoting the development of successful SMEs, SGSF promotes local development through the creation of jobs, enhancement of technology, and empowerment of socially-responsible businesses that become powerful aggregators for the local private sector. In addition, SGSF has the flexibility and efficiency to respond to growth opportunities across SEAF’s emerging markets. As of June 2010, SGSF had invested in a Polish book retailer and a leading Peruvian mango processor and exporter.