Incofin just sold its 28% equity stake that its Rural Impulse Fund (RIF II) had in Unguka Bank to LOC Holdings, one of the leading global financial platforms for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs).

RIF II sold its entire 28% participation in Unguka Bank in Rwanda. Since its investment in 2012, RIF II has helped the company more than double its total assets from USD 14 million to USD 29 million, growing into the largest microfinance bank in Rwanda, serving 1,685 clients.

Geert Peetermans, Co-CEO of Incofin commented: From the time we entered over a decade ago as first foreign institutional investor in the then early-stage microfinance bank Unguka, its team has consistently built out tailored services and deepened outreach among Rwanda’s rural MSMEs. We are today passing on the baton to a new strategic investor, with confidence that Unguka Bank and its spirited team have a great future ahead offering responsible financial services.”

In addition to financing, Incofin has provided technical assistance to the bank to develop an agricultural lending strategy, related products and methodologies as well as to migrate to a new, more efficient core banking management system. This was in line with the RIF II-mission to promote socio-economic development in rural areas.

Besides its lending activities (for purposes such as job creation, housing and agricultural development), Unguka Bank has made significant contributions to social protection. Through an annual budget allocation, the bank for example supports vulnerable populations by covering school fees for children and constructing shelters.

Reflecting on the journey with Incofin, Justin Kagishiro, CEO of Unguka Bank, said: “Unguka Bank is grateful to RIF II for the exciting journey we have been on together since 2012 and for the impact we have made on our customers. We see Incofin not only as a financial investor but also as a trusted partner to extend our reach.”

Commenting on the significance of the investment in Unguka Bank, Deputy Chairman of LOLC Holdings Ishara Nanayakkara said: The African region possesses immense growth potential, characterized by higher GDP growth. Leveraging on our position as a leading global player in the MSME market, we are eager to address the requirements of this population segment and empower them to enhance their standard of living. By implementing our successful MSME model within Unguka Bank, we aim to offer accessible financial products and services that effectively meet the diverse financial needs of entrepreneurs. As LOLC remains committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we actively contribute to economic development as a responsible lender, promoting financial inclusion while upholding robust client protection principles.”


About Rural Impulse Fund II

Rural Impulse Fund II is a EUR 120 million (USD 173 million) fund that was launched in 2010. The fund aims to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in rural areas by investing in microfinance institutions that have a strong presence in these rural regions.


LOLC Holdings

The LOLC Group is one of the most strategically diversified financial services conglomerates with presence in 23 countries across Asia, Africa and Australia. This extensive coverage enables LOLC to reach a population of over 1.3 billion globally, effectively catering to the needs of the underserved populations in each of its markets. LOLC is engaged in financial services, leisure, plantations, construction, mining, manufacturing and trading, digital empowerment, research & innovation and other strategic investments. As a leading player in the international MSME sector, the Group has been a catalyst in facilitating financial inclusion, whilst striving to maximise environmental benefits through green operations and processes, in line with its triple bottom line focus.


About Unguka Bank

Unguka Bank Plc ( is a Microfinance Bank which started as a Microfinance Institution and licenced by National Bank of Rwanda since 2005. Unguka Bank is licenced to take deposits from clients and grant loans, as well as other related financial services. Its 14 branches and 1 outlet are opened in the Capital City of Kigali and other 3 Provinces (North, South and West) of Rwanda; it is yet to open a Branch in Eastern Province. The Bank has been serving the population, both in rural and urban areas, women and men, as well as MSMEs operating in various economic sectors.

Incofin announces it has held a successful final closing for its India Progress Fund (IPF). Investors entrusted USD 77 million of capital to continue investing in the Indian rural economy focusing on financial inclusion and the agri-food value chain, two sectors which make the deepest social impact in the country.

Incofin launched the private equity fund in the summer of 2021 to build upon Incofin’s decade long strong Indian footprint with successful growth capital investments. The final investor base is comprised of a diverse set of private and institutional investors including Korys, British International Investment (BII), Proparco, The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO Invest), the SDG Frontier Fund, the King Baudoin Foundation, several Belgian family offices and since recently also the Indian development bank and Fund of Funds SIDBI.

The Indian economy will continue to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world in the next few years and the funds wants to support promising entrepreneurs who create tangible and sustainable impact through patient capital, mentoring and access to a global network. The fund is already off to a strong start, with almost half of the fund invested in innovative companies such as MSME finance company Namdev, technology-focused supply chain company SuperZop, agrofintech company Unnati and India’s largest fruit and vegetable platform Sayhadri Farms. IPF’s latest investment was in Mufin Green, financial services provider for Electric Vehicles.

Mufin Green Finance announces its Series A funding from the Incofin India Progress Fund. Incofin invested about USD 5.7 million to enhance financial inclusion in the sector of electrical vehicles in India. Founded in 2016, Mufin Green Finance is the first first of its kind, a non-banking company providing financial services to companies of electrical vehicles. In that way, Mufin has reduced over 100,000 tonnes of carbon footprints.

Delighted to partner with Incofin, Kapil Garg, Co-founder and Director of Mufin Green commented: “This funding has put us in the forefront of an organised electrical vehicles financing sector. We are planning to disburse income-generating loans worth INR 5,000 Cr [almost 620 million euro] in the next 5 years, which will result in an overall reduction of 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions.”

Aditya Bhandari, Partner and Co-Head Asia of Incofin is proud of Incofin’s investment in Mufin: “This investment clearly aligns with our vision of financial inclusion and climate efforts. Mufin thrives on its diversified business model and strong balance sheet structure. Given Mufin’s strategic tie-ups with electrical vehicles ecosystem players, we firmly believe that the company will play a crucial role in boosting the importance of electrical transport in India and create a positive economic and environmental impact.” 

As far as Mufin’s financing products go, it currently consists of electric 2, 3, and 4-wheelers, as well as other elements of the EV ecosystem, including chargers, charging stations, batteries and battery top up loans for its customers.

As per Rajat Goyal, Co-founder of Mufin Green Finance, the market of electrical vehicles is fast evolving and there is a strong push from various stakeholders: “The investment from Incofin is a solid validation on our climate focused financing mission. We are focused on catering to the underserved or low-income segment and create a meaningful social and climate impact.”

The USD 25 million (INR 196 crore) funding round in Light Microfinance was led by British International Investment (BII) with existing investors Incofin, Nordic Microfinance Initiative and Triple Jump. Light Microfinance is one of the fastest growing MFIs in India and aims to provide responsible financial services for low-income families excluded from the financial system in India, using a strong technology platform. It reaches over 200,000 clients, exclusively women in rural and semi-urban areas.

Chauhan is one of those women. She has been a member of Light Microfinance for over five years. As the primary wage earner of a six-member family, she was in dire need of income augmentation. She didn’t start in cattle rearing, but with the first of her loans from Light Microfinance, she started vegetable farming. Eventually, her business acumen enabled Chauhan to expand. Her income increased and she has even planned to hire two employees.

This new funding will be used for geographical expansion into new states to diversify the company’s product lines and continued investments in technology and digital initiatives. Co-founder and Managing Director of Light Microfinance, Deepak Amin, comments: India continues to see a huge demand for financial services, especially in rural India as households try to recover from financial difficulties faced by them due to the pandemic and at the same time get integrated into the mainstream Indian economy. Light Microfinance aims to be a key pillar of this growth story by delivering timely, high-quality financial services to its customers.

Sahyadri Farms Post Harvest Care Limited raised Rs. 310Crs (almost EUR 40 million) growth capital from a group of impact-focused investors. Incofin, Korys, FMO and Proparco see Sahyadri Farms well-placed to help farmers run their businesses in a more profitable and sustainable way.

India is a country with an aspirational, young population (74% of the population is younger than 45 years) focused on enriching their lives through hard work and entrepreneurship. At the same time, the country faces challenges like inequality (gender, education, family wealth), outdated technology, inefficient supply chains, and a lack of access to capital. The country is witnessing a strong movement towards entrepreneurship to help solve these multidimensional problems the country faces.

Sahyadri Farms is a good example of rural entrepreneurship providing end to end solutions to small and marginal farmers.

In 2010 a group of 10 farmers took the initiative to collectively produce and export fresh grapes to Europe. That initiative has grown into the leading fruits and vegetable export and processing company that Sahyadri Farms is today, servicing over 18,000 farmers, covering more than 31,000 acres and 9 crops. The company walks with its farmers from their choice of crops to the farming practices they employ, from the inputs they use to how they harvest and sell their agricultural products. The company for example offers a digital platform that informs farmers on high yield crop varieties, farm inputs, real time climate information and access to the market place.

The economic and social impact of Sahyadri for these farmers is significant. Namdeo Pawar is one of them: “In 2012, I was on the verge of selling my land. Sahyadri supported me, helped me get back up, and I pushed myself to return to work. Trough Sahyadri, my income increased. In 2014, I even repaid my bank loan.” Also for farmer Anil Dawre working with Sahyadri Farms brought about a turnaround: “I farm on less than one acre, because a part of my land is taken up by my home and an animal shed. Group farming turned out to be a success. My parents never imagined their son’s produce would travel abroad. Their joy knows no bounds.”

The capital coming from Korys, FMO, Proparco and Incofin is intended to further grow the farmers company. Sahyadri Farms wants to expand its processing capacity for fruits and vegetables-based products, set up a biomass plant to generate electricity from process waste and enhance its infrastructure, like warehouses. These investments will in turn support rural entrepreneurs working in the Sahyadri network to help overcome local challenges and make agricultural farming a viable and sustainable business.

Vilas Shinde, founder of Sayhadri

“The idea of Sahyadri Farms is to unite farmers and make them think like professional entrepreneurs. We are building a sustainable, scalable, and profitable organization for all our stakeholders by making farming profitable and viable activity for each small and marginal farmer.”Vilas Shinde, founding farmer and Managing Director of Sahyadri Farms.

Alpen Capital acted as exclusive strategic advisor to Sahyadri Farms for this transaction.

Rahul Rai, Partner at Incofin India: “Incofin feels privileged to lead this investor consortium and for its partnership with Sahyadri Farms to support their spread as a global role model of a partnership-based approach to farming that results in sustainable financial impact, climate change adaptation and inclusive growth in rural communities while creating a technology-driven, globally competitive business.”



Incofin Investment Management invests USD 2.1 million in the Ningxia Dongfang Huimin Microfinance Corp. Ltd (Huimin) equity through its agriculture-focused fund agRIF. As a shareholder, Incofin wants to support Huimin scale their financial services outreach to female smallholder farmers in Ningxia, one of the poorest provinces of China. Additionally, the Danish development financial institution IFU joined this round of capital increase and invested as well USD 2.1 million in Huimin.

The Ningxia region faces extreme aridity and barren soil. The harsh natural environment causes slow economic development and high poverty rates. In particular, rural women in Ningxia have historically been faced with a low social status and are often confined to their housework. Despite their challenges, they are eager to be respected and integrated into society – this is where Huimin came in. Founded in 1996, Huimin was originally set up as an NGO with the mission to reduce poverty by transforming the rural female population into economically active agents using microcredit. Targeting the poorest segment of the population, Huimin’s average loan size is only USD 3,500, about one-third of China’s GNI per capita. As Huimin grew in size and in professionalism, the conviction that sustainable impact is predicated on financial sustainability and good governance became increasingly convincing. In 2007, Huimin successfully transformed into a for-profit microcredit company, while keeping intact its commitment to rural poverty alleviation.

Huimin is among the leading institutions that adapted the Grameen lending methodology to service the Chinese rural demographic. Farmer families connect with each other to create a guarantee team, and these teams in turn form a village-level credit group. Over the years, Huimin has significantly expanded its scale of operation. Through its network of 11 branches and subsidiaries, Huimin now serves over 14,000 clients, all of whom are rural residents and of which 97% are female.

The success of Huimin stems from their holistic poverty alleviation and rural development strategy, which combines inclusive financial services with non-financial activities, such as workshops on agricultural techniques, anti-desertification initiatives and cultural activities to build female clients’ self-confidence.

Dina Pons, Partner at Incofin and Shareholder Representative of agRIF, said: “Huimin’s commitment to providing inclusive financial services and capacity building activities to low-income female farmers is well aligned with agRIF’s mandate. We are pleased to contribute to the sustainable growth of Huimin and to support its efforts in scaling its impactful work.”

Long Zhipu, Huimin’s Founder and Chairman, added: “We are really happy to have agRIF and IFU onboard. To us they are strategic partners who come with not only capital, but also a real understanding of the Huimin model and a plan to help Huimin adopt international microfinance best practices.”


Watch here the video about the work and mission of Huimin:

About Incofin IM

Incofin IM is an emerging markets focused independent impact investment manager focused on financial inclusion, the agri-food value chain and safe water. Driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress, Incofin strives to provide the support entrepreneurs’ need in order to improve to lives of the less privileged people. Incofin IM is an AIFM licensed fund manager, advising and managing more than EUR 1 billion of assets. Incofin has a team of more than 60 professionals spread over the headquarters in Belgium and 4 regional offices in Colombia, India, Kenya and Cambodia.


About agRIF

agRIF is a third generation (closed-end) fund that uses private equity structures to support investment for financial inclusion in the rural sector. agRIF specifically targets the agricultural sector and smallholder farmers as well as rural micro-entrepreneurs. In addition to the equity investments targeted by the fund, agRIF provides debt capital to agricultural SMEs and agriculture-focused financial intermediaries.