The Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences has affected the operations of Incofin’s investees. Nevertheless, Incofin’s agRIF-fund fulfilled also in 2020 its impact mission and acted as a catalyst for the impressive outreach done by its investees. Even a pandemic didn’t make our investees less committed to their impact mission.
The mission of agRIF is to enhance financial inclusion in the agricultural value chain, with a special focus on smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs. By investing in financial intermediaries, producer organisations and agri-businesses with financial and social objectives, agRIF aims to support the development of the local communities in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.
The Covid-19-measures drove economic activity into a halt, resulting in people losing their jobs and seeing their incomes cut. Small and microentrepreneurs, also in rural areas, were among the economic victims of lockdowns. 2020 has not only been a real stress test for the financial side, but also for how businesses interact with their workers, customers, shareholders and the wider community. One might expect that the way our investees treat their clients came under stress.
It turns out that the investees of agRIF honoured their commitment to the client protection principles with flying colours. The audit score on client protection principles remained with 88.9% impressively high. This figure may not say that much in itself, so let us compare with a relevant benchmark. The CERISE’s SPI4 ALINUS database contains over 430 recent audits of microfinance institutions across the globe, and offers an adequate point of comparison. The average client protection score in the database is 71%, while agRIF portfolio companies score 89%.
|Adaptation of services||67%||81%|
|Prevention of overindebtedness||75%||87%|
|Transparency on products||71%||93%|
|Fair practices with clients||75%||89%|
|Confidentiality of client data||69%||92%|
|Complaint resolution mechanism||60%||84%|
The results show that agRIF’s investees outperformed the industry’s average, which is in line with the social mandate of agRIF to promote businesses which comply with high standards of social performance management and client protection principles.