#BUILDINGBACKBETTER THROUGH RELIEF
The pandemic has increased and will continue to increase the stress on the already fragile healthcare, education, and financial infrastructure which has affected the livelihoods of more than 65% of the rural population and over 100 million entrepreneurs just within Asia. Affordable healthcare, inclusive education, and social equality form the backbone of a resilient economy and have the power to catalyze recovery if we step up.
The first step to #BuildingBackBetter is to ensure that SMEs survive the pandemic through immediate relief. From there, we can accelerate recovery through new financial instruments, and build true resilience by bringing women and ethnic minorities to the forefront of post-COVID growth.
Without supporting these SMEs, the world stands to suffer major setbacks in social and economic progress. However, with the right support, we can accelerate inclusive finance to sustain these businesses and enable them to rebuild the economy from the ground up.
In the coming year, IIX is excited to share new initiatives to drive urgently needed capital to SMEs, so that they can become engines of growth. Read on to learn more about IIX’s newly launched Emergency Financing Facility, and the story of one enterprise who, because of access to financing from the IEFF, will be able to help to provide livelihoods to women and farmers in Indonesia.
IIX Emergency Financing Facility (IEFF)
The first step of achieving a more inclusive post-pandemic world involves providing relief to Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs) facing unprecedented financial burdens due to the on-going pandemic. Having worked closely with women entrepreneurs for over a decade, IIX developed an innovative financing facility, the IIX Emergency Financing Facility (IEFF), to help women entrepreneurs weather the on-going pandemic as well as endure future external shocks. The IEFF is designed to be a revolving facility creating a multiplier effect resulting in tripling the disbursements, thereby having a greater impact. IEFF is expected to support 40 enterprises and improve the lives of 1 million women by easing the cash flow pressures women entrepreneurs experience in this short-term period, allowing them to get through the crisis until they can go back to normal operations or can access additional funding from other sources. This represents a lifeline for companies to pivot their businesses so they can adapt and thrive in the new norm.
The IEFF is a USD 1.5 million revolving facilities offering a working capital loan exclusively to SMEs (prioritizing WSMEs) with business models that were profitable or close to becoming so before they were affected by the crisis, and thus should have the ability to repay the loan once the crisis has subsided. As a revolving facility, the IEFF uses all repayments to make new working capital loans to other businesses in need. This creates a multiplier effect, with every dollar of the AUD 1.5 Million allocated to Relief being revolved thrice on average, resulting in AUD 4.5 Million in working capital loans being disbursed to SMEs and WSMEs over the next 5 years, as depicted in the figure below. This will create a magnified impact that will reach over 1 million lives.
In 2019, Krakakoa Chocolate, an Indonesia enterprise that produces chocolate from 100% Indonesian beans, while improving the livelihoods of Indonesian cocoa farmers and protecting the environment, raised funding from Singapore-based investors IIX Growth Fund and LIC VC, as well as an individual impact investor and co-founder of SYSTEMIQ Jeremy Oppenheim.
As part of our relief efforts, Impact Partners has been supporting enterprises like Krakakoa with pre and post-investment support to de-risk investments and bridge the gap between supply and demand. Via IIX’s sourcing network, Impact Partners worked with Krakakoa as part of the Swedish government’s Gender Transformative & Responsible Investments in South East Asia Project (GRAISEA), which targets smallholder farmers and workers – especially women – in the formal and informal parts of the supply chain of key commodities.
By helping farmers generate more income from their current farmland, Krakakoa helps to reduce the need for farmers to expand their land into protected forest areas. Based on IIX’s impact assessment, 450 farmers were able to increase their income by an average of USD 17,078, and increase cost savings by USD 9,659. This represents a 62% increased income due to the price premium on cocoa, and a 22% increase in cost savings.
Learn more about the world’s largest crowdfunding platform connecting impact investors with innovative Impact Enterprises: IIX Impact Partners