Letter from the CEO
Since our inception in 1997, Norfund’s mandate has focused on investing to build sustainable businesses and alleviate poverty through job creation. This year marks 25 years since the Norwegian Parliament brought Norfund to life, and filled a need for an active, strategic investment fund for developing countries. Our focus though is on the future, and the next 25 years and beyond.
Investing in businesses that drive sustainable development
The development of sustainable enterprises is essential to promote economic growth and reduce poverty.
Norfund’s mandate is to establish viable, profitable enterprises in developing countries that would not otherwise be initiated because of the high risk involved.
← Click on the circle to see how we work.
Norfund was founded by the Storting (Norwegian parliament) in 1997. The aim is to contribute to the development of sustainable business and industry in developing countries by providing equity capital and other risk capital and by furnishing loans and guarantees.
Every year, Norfund receives annual capital allocations from the Norwegian government. In 2021, this amounted to 1.67 billion NOK. Norfund also received 32 million NOK for its Business Support Programme.
5.3 billion NOK committed in 2021
Norfund increased investments by 10% to a record 5.3 billion NOK in 2021, despite continuing challenges due to the pandemic.
Investments were broadly distributed within Norfund’s investment areas, with Clean Energy accounting for the largest portion, at 2.7 billion NOK. Financial Institutions accounted for 1.1 billion NOK, and 1.4 billion NOK was invested in Scalable Enterprises via funds and direct investments. Green Infrastructure made its first investment of 450 million NOK.
How we work
To fulfil our mandate effectively, we focus on countries and investment areas in which capital is scarce and our development impact is likely to be strong.
Norfund is an active owner in our portfolio companies contributing with expertise and sound corporate governance – helping our investees to improve their environmental and social performance.
Companies create jobs, pay taxes and supply goods to communities.
Norfund’s investments in sustainable companies make a direct contribution to the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals – especially the goals of eradicating poverty, achieving sustainable economic growth, access to energy, gender equality, industry, innovation and infrastructure and climate action. The development effects are measured annually.
Norfund creates the greatest development effects by ensuring that its capital is constantly deployed where it contributes most.
Since its inception, the portfolio has had an IRR of 4.9% measured in investment currencies and 7.4% measured in NOK.
Norfund makes a difference
Norfund contributes to establishing viable, profitable undertakings that would not otherwise be initiated because of the high risk involved.
As of end 2021, there were 451,000 jobs in the portfolio companies. In total, the companies provided 3.5 million households with access to electricity, over 54 million clients received financial services and 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided.
Our Investment Areas
Norfund prioritises investments in four investment areas that are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Here you can read about the financial results and development effects in each investment area.