Africa dominates global cashew nut production with 56% of the market. Surprisingly, only 10% is processed locally. Enter Anatrans – the exclusive supplier of Nuts2 – and the leading processor in Burkina Faso, empowering 4,000 local farmers.

Through Incofin’s Technical Assistance project, co-financed by the Smallholder Safety Net Upscaling Programme (SSNUP), and the agRIF Technical Assistance Facility (agTAF), the lives of cashew nut producers in Burkina Faso have seen remarkable improvements. How?

  • Access to Fairtrade certification
  • Provision of advance payments
  • Focus on education and healthcare for their children

With 416 farmers trained on Fairtrade practices and 2 cooperatives receiving a Fairtrade certification, the Technical Assistance project has been a resounding success. Moreover, 159 farmers received advance payments for education and healthcare. But how can you know that it is truly impactful? We listened to the farmers themselves. You can find the results in the conclusions of the survey “Voice of the Farmer”.  It turns out that farmers have embraced more sustainable production practices, and 99% have witnessed increase in their cashew nut income. Thanks to the Fairtrade label, they now benefit from larger sales volumes and higher prices.

Another heartening outcome is the significant prevention of child labour, thanks to enhanced awareness among farmers and increased resources for better living conditions for the children. The farmers themselves have spoken and wholeheartedly believe that the benefits provided by the Fairtrade label are worth every penny invested.


agTAF, the Technical Assistance Facility of agRIF fund

agTAF was launched in 2018 to foster the financial inclusion of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs through the provision of tailored capacity building support to selected investees of the Fund. agTAF is a EUR 1.8 million facility jointly financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique S.A. (PROPARCO), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) and the agRIF fund.


About Smallholder Safety Net Upscaling Programme (SSNUP)

The Smallholder Safety Net Upscaling Programme (SSNUP) is a 10-year programme which aims to strengthen the safety nets of 10 million smallholder households in Africa, Latin America and Asia through technical assistance and investment in agricultural value chains, resulting in an improved well-being of 50 million low-income people. Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Luxembourg Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, the SSNUP works as a facility to co-finance the technical assistance projects of impact investors active in the field. ADA ensures the coordination as well as the knowledge management component of the whole programme. For more info visit:



Incofin invests INR 35 crores or USD 4.3 million in India’s rural affordable housing finance market by partnering with Varashakti Housing Finance (VHF) becoming its first institutional investor. The series A funding comes from the Incofin India Progress Fund.

VHF, led by Ms. Sahaana Sankar, focuses on the rural housing finance market, offering loans for asset creation in three South Indian states. With the loans benefiting women, who serve as either primary borrower or co-applicant, VHF has catered more than 4,200 borrowers till date. This ensures that women have equal rights and access to finance and opportunities for asset creation.

Director of VHF, Ms. Sahaana Sankar, founded VHF in 2017 with a mission make the aspirational dream homes of low-income households a reality. “We are excited to join forces with Incofin. This funding allows us to expand our business, scale up the organisation and further impact the lives of the rural underserved segment and enhance overall borrower experience. We will benefit immensely from Incofin’s global experience and value creation and look forward to including them in our journey!”


The Incofin India Progress Fund (IPF), launched in 2021, is a private equity fund to support promising entrepreneurs with growth capital. Financial incuclusion is one of the two main focus points for the impact fund. Commenting on IPF’s third investment in ihe financial inclusion space, Aditya Bhandari, Partner and Regional Director Asia Equity for Incofin: “With this investment, Incofin reinforces its mission to invest with a gender lens and to support climate resilient solutions. We see a large opportunity in the rural Indian affordable housing finance industry and believe that VHF’s experienced team together with its strong technology platform will realise success while achieving deep impact goals.”

As of June 2023, VHF offers home loans, home improvement loans, loans against property, small ticket business loans and reported an asset under management of INR 119 crores with 28  branches. VHF aims to reach an asset under management of INR 1,750 crores by catering to 30,000 borrowers in the next five to seven years.


Incofin raises fresh capital from new shareholders Degroof Petercam Asset Management (DPAM) and Korys. The transaction allows Incofin to accelerate its growth and to expand its impact in emerging countries. The new investors join the two founding shareholders of Incofin:  Incoteam, the vehicle holding the staff members’ majority stake and Incofin CVSO, a social investment company with more than 30 years of existence, out of which Incofin Investment Management spun off in 2009.

According to a survey (GIIN, 2022) the size of the global impact investment universe amounts to EUR 1 trillion. These investment play a vital role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, a funding gap to reach the SDGs by 2030 still exists. According to OECD, reallocating 1.1% of the total assets held by banks, institutional investors or asset managers – almost EUR 4 trillion – would be sufficient to fill the gap in SDG financing. This is why impact investments are key for the future of our planet and why impact fund managers such as Incofin IM play a vital role.

Pioneering into new territories, both in terms of asset classes and geographies, has always been core to Incofin’s entrepreneurial approach. The capital increase will boost the company’s capacity to launch new initiatives, including funds integrating a smart climate and gender lens.  In addition, Incofin is at the forefront of developing best practices in impact measurement and reporting.

“The company’s’ unique strengths are attributable to the management’s drive and independence. However, in 2020, we realized we needed to boost our growth trajectory by attracting fresh capital and team up with partners, as we saw immense untapped investment opportunities. We wanted partners contributing to excellence in governance and capitalizing on our company culture. DPAM and Korys were the winning combination. With them on board we proudly remain a company rooted in Belgium but with unlimited global outreach.”Loïc De Cannière, Founder and Chair of Incofin Investment Management

For DPAM, its first ever investment in an impact investing firm feels like a natural next step in line with the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability.

“We have been thinking about broadening our offer for a long time, especially in the direction of impact investments in private debt and equity. We also perceive a growing demand from customers in this direction that we would like to meet. Today, we are a reference partner on responsible investments in emerging markets. This cooperation is fully in line with our commitment to sustainable development and strengthens the social component of it.”Peter De Coensel, DPAM CEO

For Korys and Incofin this is not the first partnership.

“And we are happy to deepen this partnership with Incofin,” says Frederik Bauwens, Investment Director at Korys. “After a first investment in agRIF in 2016, Korys became a cornerstone investor in the India Progress Fund in 2021. We are a long-term investor focusing on sustainability, we particularly enjoy working with partners who share our core values and aim to make a positive impact. Together with the existing shareholders and DPAM, we make sure Incofin remains an independent investor anchored in Belgium, yet with a global impact. Furthermore, we love the idea that this partnership will expand our network and help us to connect with new players active in areas close to our heart.”

Incofin CVSO, a long-time shareholder since it split off its management activities into Incofin Investment Management, welcomes the two new shareholders.

Ever since Incofin CVSO was founded in 1992 – now more than 30 years ago – its mission has been to support entrepreneurs in emerging economies by offering them appropriate financing.  Incofin CVSO is proud that this trajectory has made it possible to now attract new like-minded shareholders in Incofin IM  This will enable Incofin to continue its strong growth path in the coming years, with even more positive impact for entrepreneurs in emerging economies.” Michiel Geers, Chair of Incofin CVSO

All parties involved underline how this new partnership brings a tremendous opportunity to leverage more sustainable impact and financial inclusion for low-income people in emerging countries. A major new initiative is already at an advanced stage and will be officially launched within a few months.

Argo acted as transaction counsel, advising both Incofin IM as issuer and Incoteam and Incofin CVSO as existing shareholders of the company, in relation to the capital increase.




Incofin announces in the lead-up to the UN 2023 Water conference, the launch of the Water Access Acceleration Fund (W2AF). W2AF is a private equity fund focusing on safe drinking water, with EUR 36 million of commitments. The blended fund aims to provide 20 billion liters of water to 30 million people, mainly in Africa and Asia. W2AF invests in innovative water businesses that provide affordable, safe drinking water to underserved populations.

The committed capital comes from a diverse pool of private and public investors, including Danone along with BNP Paribas, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Norfund, the Danish development finance institution IFU, and international foundation Aqua for All. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided catalytic funding to enable a first-loss tranche.

W2AF is the first private equity initiative in a sector that is traditionally financed by  governments, donors and foundations. The fund aims to demonstrate the financial viability of the safe drinking water market worldwide.  It has a blended finance structure – an approach to use part of the public and private donor funds to attract capital from private investors. W2AF hit EUR 36 million in commitments at this first closing and aims to achieve total capital commitments of EUR 70 million in subsequent closings.


W2AF goes the last miles

Today, more than two billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Inadequate or unreliable access to safe water is a harsh reality for many, especially in large parts of Africa and Asia. Piped water is in most countries a common way to get water to consumers, but where piped networks are unavailable or unreliable, people rely on wells or community water supply systems. Mostly women and girls have to walk, sometimes for miles, to reach the nearest water source. A growing world population, together with rising consumption and climate change threatens to increase water access inequality even more.

More and more, local entrepreneurs are coming up with promising market-based, yet affordable solutions. W2AF plans to invest in various decentralized solutions, such as water kiosks, which deliver safely treated drinking water in gallons to the home or to the local store. In addition, the fund will invest in water pipe infrastructure and water technologies. The investments will contribute to delivering safe drinking water to low-income communities around the world.

State Street Bank International GmbH in Paris will provide depository services.

Drinkable water is a luxury we too often take for granted. Yet, 2.2 billion people today do not have access to safely managed drinking water. Meanwhile, there are talented water company owners who know how to solve this problem but can’t find an investor who aligns with their vision to help them scale up. That’s why Incofin created the W2AF, to address the growth capital needs of these entrepreneurs, and to prove that the drinking water sector is investment-ready, even when targeting low-income people.” Dina Pons, Managing Partner Incofin and W2AF Fund Relationship Manager.

“In a context where 1 in 3 people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, we consider that it is crucial to join forces with public and private actors and scale up financial and social impact. Water is a key pillar of our mission to bring health through food and drink. Building on the experience of our impact fund Danone communities, we are today going a step further in supporting innovative social businesses dedicated to water access issue, and we hope other actors will soon join us.” Henri Bruxelles, Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer of Danone

Blended finance is critical to achieve universal access to water. Safe drinking water enterprises complement public efforts serving low-income communities in emerging markets. These enterprises struggle to access capital to scale and become sustainable. By making impactful water investments, W2AF will pave the way for other private and public investors, said Josien Sluijs, Managing Director of Aqua for All.

“Norfund is delighted to play a part in setting up this first-of-its-kind fund and contribute to developing new ways of mobilizing the needed capital to provide access to safe and affordable drinking water. Norfund has ambitions to invest further in this sector that is essential for people’s health, but also for job creation, and we see this fund as an important step in building a larger portfolio”, says Delphine Gilbert, Investment Manager at Norfund.

“We are very happy to join W2AF that aims at improving affordable and safe water access for underserved low-income population in South Asia and Africa with a Just Transition approach, a very innovative initiative in the impact investing space. Indeed, W2AF’s theory of change focuses on the safe water value chain which addresses both social and environmental issues with substantial positive impacts: avoiding preventable diseases, fostering gender equality, plastic bottles reduction, CO2 emissions avoidance, …. , Laurence Pessez, Head of Group CSR at BNP Paribas.

“W2AF investments in innovative water businesses will advance water security by providing affordable, safe drinking water to millions of people in Africa and Asia. The fund will work to address the fundamental problem of access to clean water, which is increasingly scarce due to climate impacts such as excessive heat and drought. We are proud to be a part of this investment that meets DFC’s mandate of financing solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today”, said Jake Levine, Chief Climate Officer at DFC.

“Lack of access to clean drinking water has profound consequences for billions of people in emerging economies, and we are far away from meeting the SDG 6 target on creating access to safe water for all. W2AF is an innovative tool to mobilise the needed private capital, which can speed up investments in private sector water companies and demonstrate that the water sector is financially viable. We are looking forward to being part of this initiative and make a positive impact by providing clean and affordable water to 30 million people”, said Arent Christian Kjær, Investment Director at IFU.

At State Street we believe that addressing ESG issues can help generate better long-term outcomes. As an asset servicer, asset manager and responsible corporation, we aim to create value for our stakeholders. We are very pleased to accompany Incofin with the launch of this pioneer fund and to provide depository services”, Christophe Baurand, Country Head at State Street Bank International GmbH in France.




A year after Incofin India Progress Fund’s first investment in SuperZop, Incofin invested a second tranche in SuperZop. The amount of the second investment tranche, after the USD 1 million investment in 2021, is USD 2.7 million (INR 20 Cr).

This first year of investment was marked as a year of growth for our Indian partners, which confirmed Incofin’s trust and the trust of all the investors of the Incofin India Progress Fund to make this second investment.

?SuperZop has supported in a year time + 2,800 farmers by enabling market linkages, resulting in better prices.

?The company successfully expanded its presence in Surat, Nashik and Raighad.

?The monthly orders increased by 2.4x and the number of actively ordered stores tripled.

?SME retailers doubled on SuperZop’s platform

?SuperZop delivered more than 20,000 tons of safe and high-quality commodities.

?Various range of products was launched (+ 100 stock units), with 30% monthly growth in its own retail brand (Khetika) for agriculture products like nuts.


You get to meet the Chair of Arnur Credit in this new episode of Incofin’s series on inspiring women. Incofin strives for more gender equality. First and foremost, because it is the right thing to do. And also because companies with a gender-balanced leadership outperform those that are less balanced.
That is why we started with an #InspiringWomen-series: we are introducing you to some of the most inspirational women Incofin works with. Women in leadership positions in often male-dominated contexts. 


Raushan Kurbanaliyeva, Chair of Arnur Credit in Kazakhstan

Mrs. Raushan Kurbanaliyeva has many years of experience in the financial sector. For the last 15 years, she has been successfully managing one of the largest microfinance organisations in Kazakhstan.

She graduated from the Kazakh State Academy of Management with a degree in Economic and Social Planning. She obtained an MBA degree – Master of Business Administration at the Almaty Management University. She holds certificates as CAP, USAID / CAMFA II “Financial services for rural areas and agriculture”.

“To achieve success, a woman must set ambitious goals for herself and divide them into sub-goals for successful and consistent implementation. At the same time, it is very important that the goals are always in harmony with true desires, and then success is guaranteed. I, as a leader, and as a woman, in the implementation of certain goals, as a rule, pay great attention to the social orientation. So, it is very important for me to implement the social mission of our company – to promote the development of small businesses of clients, create new jobs, prevent over-crediting and increase in debt burden.”

Raushan also has a long experience as a member of the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Board of Directors in the Microfinance Association of Kazakhstan, an independent member of the Board of Directors at JSC Shardarinskaya WPP; and a member of the Board of Directors at MFIs in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

“Women leaders need constant self-improvement and development of competencies, maintaining a balance between family values ​​and business. Therefore, it is very important to be able to properly manage your time.”

Raushan herself is married and is the mother of three children.


Roshaneh Zafar,Founder and Managing Director of Kashf Foundation in Pakistan

As CEO of Kashf Foundation, Roshaneh Zafar fights everyday to empower women entrepreneurs and helps them free themselves and their families from the stifling effect of poverty in a country where gender equality scores very low. Only 1 out of 4 women have a job in Pakistan.

Roshaneh stresses the importance of the context for gender equality. She feels she owes it largely to her liberal-minded parents that she was able to walk the path she did and that she was able to move after secondary school to the United States to study. “But most girls from my community stayed in Pakistan in that time, which was the beginning of the nineties. The parents of most of my friends didn’t allow them to continue to study. Many of them could have become excellent scientists, engineers, doctors or economists. They could have contributed to the solutions needed for the larger questions in life. They never got that chance. I am privileged and grateful for the chances I have been given.”

After finishing secondary school in Lahore, Roshaneh moved to the United States to attend the Business School in Wharton. She holds also a Master in Development Economics at Yale University. She started her career at the World Bank. After four years, she gave up the job to start something on her own. Inspired by Muhammed Yunus’ Grameen Bank, she founded Kashf.


Daisy Achieng, CFO of Yehu in Kenya

Daisy Achieng has been Yehu’s CFO in Kenya since 2020. Driven by her acuity for details and constant search for new knowledge to hone her expertise, she helped achieve Yehu financial sustainability by installing a remarkable financial discipline.

Daisy is a hardworking, talented woman with a plan. She started very early in her career as a leader. Great mentorship in school and later on, which she labeled as a sisterhood, supported her tremendously on her path. Whenever I faced a challenge, I could always discuss it with people in my network, she says.

She also stresses the importance of an open, supportive corporate culture that she finds at Yehu. Furthermore, a woman leader should focus on her self-awareness.To succeed as a woman in a leadership role, you should develop a personal brand for yourself and establish guidelines that will help you achieve your goals. Building a personal brand requires self-awareness and integrity: self-awareness helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them. Integrity focuses on your core values and how you relate to your work.

This coupled with effective communication will help a leader build a personal brand and achieve the aspired goals. Integrity is an equally important guideline for Daisy.

Daisy is a certified public accountant and holds a degree in Commerce with a focus on Finance.


Fatou Dieng, the CFO Crédit Mutuel Sénégal (CMS).

Fatou Dieng has been the CFO of CMS Senegal for over a year now, after doing the same job for PAMECAS. She has more than 20 years of experience in the microfinance sector.

Although Fatou notes that in Senegal women are usually recognized for their capabilities, for example their multitasking skills, as a woman professionally, she often stood alone in a male-dominated environment. And yet successfully. After a Master in Audit, she started her career in 1998 as an accountant and climbed up rapidly. She held several management positions: Finance and Accounting Director, Audit Director in different types of organisations, ranging from a consulting firm, to financial cooperatives, and many others.

“My advice to women is to believe in themselves and in their capacities, and to work hard to achieve their goals. Women seeking leadership roles need to be confident, rigorous and resilient in their work. They should also guard independence in their decision-making.”