Norfund’s mission is to create jobs and to improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development. Our strategy directs how we work to achieve this.
The following three strategic initiatives are priorities in 2019-2020::
1. Investing in selected business areas
Norfund focuses on four business areas:
“Private sector development in low-income countries is important for achieving the UN Sustainable Development GoalsDAG-INGE ULSTEIN, NORWEGIAN MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
2. Targeting selected developing countries
Norfund target selected countries where capital is scarce and international investments will have high impact potential.
First priority countries = core countries
Norfund seeks to build a pipeline and make direct investment in 29 core countries. These countries were selected due to high investment needs and opportunities, lack of access to capital / other investors as well as Norfund’s knowledge of the markets.
Secondary priority countries = extended reach countries
Norfund invests in an additional 20 developing countries that are fragile and offer partnership opportunities. Our investments are made through reputable private equity funds, or via strategic partners and investment platforms.
In addition to the core countries, Norfund can invest in 20 selected developing countries that are fragile or offer partnership opportunities through reputable funds, strategic partners or platforms
3. Being a responsible investor
Norway has defined four cross-cutting areas of concern that needs to be considered in all development assistance projects; Climate & Environment, Gender Equality, Human Rights and Corruption Prevention.
As a responsible investor, Norfund adheres to international performance standards. When we undertake investments, we conduct assessments in the above mentioned cross-cutting areas. The Environmental and Social Performance Standards of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) provide the basis for these assessments. These often stipulates compliance requirements above those that are general practice.
In many of the countries in which we invest, employment and environmental laws, rules and protections may be poorly implemented. Protections for vulnerable populations may also be weak. Norfund therefore requires all our investees to be willing to comply with the IFC’s Standards.
Although we don’t expect our investment companies to be compliant at the time of investment, we require an action plan that maps out how they will ensure compliance over time.