The MEF (Microfinance Enhancement Facility) fund advised by Incofin IM disbursed a USD 2 million loan to the South African non-profit micro-credit organization SEF.
SEF (The Small Enterprise Foundation) started in 1992 with only 2 small loans but with an ambitious plan to alleviate poverty in South Africa. Today they serve 226,216 clients (31 March 2020) and disbursed more than ZAR 10.21 billion (894 million USD) loans since inception. Their social impact means a life change for hundreds of thousand previously unemployed women living in poor rural communities.
Incofin’s Regional Director for Africa, Kevin Kamemba, explains that the social impact and financial sustainability of SEF convinced Incofin IM to support their mission through the MEF fund:
“SEF has enabled thousands of vulnerable women in South Africa to sustainably scale the barriers of unemployment and gender inequality through micro-enterprise loans and capacity building. This resonates with Incofin’s desire to promote inclusive progress and we are happy to partner with SEF especially during this exceptional times when their clients would need them the most.”
Incofin’s loan enables SEF to provide their micro-enterprise customers the much needed capital to own their businesses and to reduce their poverty levels through their income generating activities.
The management of SEF has demonstrated strong leadership and proactive response to the Covid-19 crisis through increased engagement with funding partners as well as the customers. Through extensive surveys they have assessed many of their clients’ situation, applied payment holiday and relaxed lending conditions where necessary.
In addition to micro-credit, SEF provides clients with regular trainings on financial health and gender empowerment in a bid to improve their entrepreneurial skills and reduce vulnerability to HIV and domestic violence.
Full press release: