Founded in 2001, BlueOrchard is a leading impact investment firm that specializes in supporting microfinance institutions and organizations that promote financial inclusion and reduce poverty around the world. Since its creation, BlueOrchard has invested $8 billion in more than 90 countries and has contributed to transforming the lives of more than 250 million people.
Impact investing is a form of investing that seeks to create measurable social and environmental impact and financial profit. While traditional forms of investing often focus only on increasing profits, impact investing strives to inspire positive change in the world while also producing financial returns for investors. Impact investing takes many different forms. These include investing in microfinance institutions that provide small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, investing in renewable energy projects to fight climate change, investing in affordable housing companies, investing in education providers and much more.
Making a Difference
BlueOrchard’s mission is to promote financial inclusion for neglected communities and environments while simultaneously providing financial returns for investors by linking them to entrepreneurs around the world. One of the major impacts of this goal is poverty alleviation. BlueOrchard invests in a wide range of projects including providing loans to small businesses, renewable energy projects and educational centers.
BlueOrchard’s primary impact investments focus on supporting microfinance institutions (MFIs) that provide small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. These loans can help people
kickstart or expand their businesses, which can create a sustainable livelihood for those living in abject poverty. BlueOrchard has invested in many MFIs around the world, including the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) microfinance program which targets reducing poverty and water sanitation projects and FINCA Impact Finance which focuses on helping women in Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia.
It has also invested in MFIs that target diminishing gender disparities such as Japan’s ASEAN Women’s Empowerment Fund and Sonata Finance in India. This initiative provides loans to disadvantaged women across India. BlueOrchard also invests in education projects, and one example is the Regional Education Finance Fund for Africa (REFFA) which aims to improve access to primary, secondary and higher education across Africa.
Climate finance is another target area for BlueOrchard. It has created a climate insurance fund called InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF) that has benefitted impoverished populations most vulnerable to weather volatility and climate change in developing countries. The organization also invests in renewable energy projects in India, helping to provide clean and affordable energy products, such as solar-powered sustainable lighting, that can stimulate social and economic development in the country.
By covering such a vast array of investment projects, BlueOrchard contributes to helping the United Nations meet 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Impact of BlueOrchard’s Investments
BlueOrchard’s impact investments have had a monumental impact on global poverty reduction. As of June 2021, the organization had provided financial services to more than 39 million people around the world. It has helped create and sustain more than 156 million jobs and has provided climate insurance to 25 million people. The organization has impacted some of the world’s most vulnerable populations including impoverished people, displaced people and refugees.
BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment firm that is making a remarkable difference in the fight against poverty around the world. Through its investments in multiple sustainable development sectors including agriculture, gender inequality and renewable energy, it continues to demonstrate that financial profit and global change are not mutually exclusive ideas and can merge to create lasting change.
– Aemal Nafis