About Norfund

Norfund is the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries. Our mission is to create jobs and to improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development.

Norfund is owned and funded by the Norwegian Government and is the Government´s most important tool for strengthening the private sector in developing countries, and for reducing poverty.

Investing Where Others Will Not

Norfund’s mandate is defined by the Norfund Act of 1997. The Act states that Norfund´s role is to assist in building sustainable businesses and industries in developing countries by providing equity capital and other risk capital.

Norfund helps to build sustainable businesses that would not otherwise be developed because of the high risks involved.

The UN´s Sustainable Development Goal Number 1 is to end poverty. To achieve this, the development aid industry needs to focus on Sustainable Growth, Social Development, and Institution Building. Norfund is contributing to the achievement of this Goal by building sustainable economic growth.

Norfund is willing to assume more risk than most other investors. We prioritise projects that have strong potential development effects and profitability.

Our Investment Areas

Norfund prioritises investments in four investment areas that are aligned with the UN´s Sustainable Development Goals.

Profitability Is a Precondition

Companies only survive if they are profitable. This means that profitability is essential for the creation of sustainable jobs and lasting development effects.

Norfund enhance profitability and development effects through active ownership and business development support.

Since inception, Norfund’s Internal Rate of Return (IRR) expressed in investment currency, was 6% (as of end 2018). 

6
%

IRR since inception (Investment currency)

Investing for Development

Norfund invests in companies that will contribute to economic and social development through:

  • the direct and indirect jobs they provide
  • the goods and services they offer
  • the taxes they pay

Organization

The Norwegian Parliament

established Norfund through the Norfund Law in 1997. Norfund is fully funded by the Norwegian International Development Assistance budget. Parliament approves Norfund´s annual capital allocation. 

The Minister of International Development

has constitutional responsibility for Norfund. The Norwegian Minister of International Development constitutes the General Assembly and exercises the highest authority in the fund.

Norfund’s Board of Directors:

is appointed by the Norfund General Assembly and ensures that the Fund operates in accordance with the Norfund Act and its related statutes. The Board of Directors decides Norfund’s strategy and approves investments which exceed specified thresholds.

Norfund Management Team

manages the Fund according to Norfund´s mandate of creating jobs and improving lives in developing countries.

The Investment Committee

Norfund’s Investment Committee (IC) is an important entity in Norfund, both for quality assurance and to make better de­cisions. The IC is led by the CEO, has eight members, whereof two are external. While the CEO/Management Team can decide on investments up to USD 4 million, the IC is mandated to decide on investments between USD 4 – USD 15 million and commercial exits. The IC shall also review investment pro­posals above USD 15 million, but final approval is to be made by the Board of Directors.

Relevant Definitions

  • Developing countries = Countries classified by the OECD as Lower Middle Income Countries (LMIC) and below, and other countries that may receive assistance through business aid schemes
  • Sustainable businesses = businesses that are financially sound and operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.