FinDev Canada 2020 Annual Report

Supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth during a global pandemic

In 2020, FinDev Canada faced the challenge of continuing operations amidst a global pandemic that paralyzed several areas of activity around the world. This created limitations to our operations, but also led to increased demand for our products and services. We responded by doubling our investments compared to 2019.

Learn more in our 2020 Annual Report below.
I’m particularly proud of our work in promoting gender equality. As a gender-lens investor, we are becoming a world leader in driving women’s economic empowerment in markets where we operate.
Responsiveness, agility, working as partners. Those words characterize how FinDev Canada answered the challenges that 2020 brought.

2020 highlights

Portfolio growth

In 2020, FinDev Canada doubled its investments compared to the previous year, injecting much needed capital into developing countries.


Organizational growth

As part of its continued growth since its launch in 2018, FinDev Canada hired 17 new staff members in 2020. This represents a 57% increase in FinDev Canada’s total headcount since December 2019. Twelve of these new positions are considered to be intermediate or senior roles.

Staff composition

Top performance in gender-lens investing

FinDev Canada completed its term as the 2019–2020 Chair of the 2X Challenge in June 2020. Our term ended with the announcement that 2X members had committed and mobilized $4.5 billion in gender-smart investments as of the end of 2019, surpassing the original $3 billion goal.

FinDev Canada was highlighted as a top-performing institution on gender-lens investing, among peers and partners such as IDB Invest, CDC Group and IFC, in the Gender Equity in Development Finance Survey conducted by the Center for Global Development.

Stakeholder engagement

With all business migrating to a virtual format, adapting to the new reality to continue to engage with stakeholders was a priority in 2020. We successfully hosted a launch event of our 2019 Annual Report, which allowed us to show results and be accountable toward several Canadian and international stakeholders, and we also participated in the first-ever Finance in Common Summit, resulting in a commitment by development finance institutions (DFIs) to flow capital toward the post-pandemic recovery of African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the MaRS Impact Week, and several events focused on COVID-19 response in developing countries.

Leading by example

At FinDev Canada, we want to lead by example when it comes to gender inclusion, and to become an employer of choice for women and men.

As at December 31, 2020, women comprised:
65.9% of our workforce
50% of all leaders
33.3% of roles at the Director level and above
33.3% of roles at the VP/CEO level
45% of our Board of Directors
50% of our Advisory Council

Investments in 2020

  • LAAD logo
  • Bancoldex logo
  • Davivienda logo
  • DPI logo
  • CIFI logo
  • M-Kopa logo
  • FirstRand logo
  • MIRO logo
  • Phatisa logo
  • Produbanco logo
  • Avla logo
  • TDB logo
  • Fedecredito logo
  • MFX logo
Investments in 2020 LAAD

Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation S.A. (LAAD) is a private investment and development company whose mission is to finance small and medium-sized agribusiness projects to promote economic, environmental and social development in Latin America.

Investments in 2020 Bancóldex

Bancóldex is Colombia’s business development and export development bank. In promoting business growth and trade, Bancóldex channels funding to the private sector through financial intermediaries and also provides non-financial services, including advisory, technical assistance, training, project structuring and networking programs.

Investments in 2020 Firstrand

FirstRand Bank is one of the five largest banks in South Africa, and it offers products and services that support thousands of SMEs, women clients and green infrastructure.

Investments in 2020 M-KOPA Solar

M-KOPA is the world’s leading pay-as-you-go energy provider to off-grid homes. The company has developed a better way to provide affordable, safe and clean energy to millions of people living off the grid.

Investments in 2020 Development Partners International

African Development Partners III (ADP III) is a private equity fund focused on established and growing companies targeting Africa’s growing middle class. It is the third fund of Development Partners International (DPI), which serves as a key source of large-scale investments that provide capital to spur growth across the continent.

Investments in 2020 Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A.

La Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A. (CIFI) is one of the leading non-bank financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean that specializes in structuring and financing private sector, middle market infrastructure projects.

Investments in 2020 Banco Davivienda

Banco Davivienda is a key player in supporting market development, the economy and financial inclusion in Colombia. It also plays an important role in the region, serving more than 16.8 million clients across five countries in Latin America.

FinDev Canada’s portfolio dashboard

As of December 2020
All figures stated in USD
15 Clients in portfolio
$201M Total signed commitments
49% Equity investments (% total committed)
10 2X clients in portfolio (61%)1
New commitments (USD)

  1. 2X qualified deals: ADP (DPI) III, FirstRand Bank, CIFI, Banco Davivienda, Alitheia IDF, Cooprogreso, Danper ALV, EcoEnterprises Fund and M-KOPA.
  2. “Multiple” refers to Climate Investor One and JCM Power, which operate across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  3. This is based on data reported by M-KOPA, Climate Investor One, Danper ALV, Africa Forestry Fund, EcoEnterprises Fund, Cooprogreso, CIFI, LAAD and JCM Power as of December 2020. Others currently report their annual KPIs later in the year.
  4. This represents direct and indirect customers with improved access to energy. Indirect estimates come from FMO Impact model.

Turning challenges into opportunities

FinDev Canada entered 2020 with a solid roadmap to achieve its strategic goals. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to adapt swiftly and deftly to the harm and uncertainty brought to markets where we operate. The challenges presented us, though, with unexpected opportunities that we sought to leverage.

International standards for impact measurement

To ensure alignment with industry standards, FinDev Canada’s impact measurement approach draws on reporting standards such as the Harmonized Indicators for Private Sector Operations (HIPSO), the 2X Challenge criteria and the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS).

Environmental and social risk management

  • In 2020, FinDev Canada continued to build our environmental and social (E&S) risk management infrastructure and capacity, publishing a revised E&S Policy in March and hiring our first E&S advisor in August.
  • We worked closely with existing clients to support their COVID-19 prevention and response programs as part of our asset management and risk monitoring process, and evaluated COVID-19-related risks during the transaction screening and due diligence processes.
  • We also refined our gender approach, making sure that potential and existing clients have the skills and tools they need to identify and mitigate risks for women in their workforce and the surrounding communities.
  • In 2021, we plan to continue to develop our E&S risk management practice, adapting to a dynamic global context that requires a nuanced and client-centric approach to doing no harm while doing good.
Number of investments reviewed by the E&S risk management team

Thirteen potential investments were reviewed in 2020, including 100% of investments presented to the Investment Committee.

Common E&S risks identified

Most transactions in 2020 were investments in financial intermediaries and funds. The risks of these transactions generally lie with the projects, enterprises and individuals that ultimately receive the proceeds of FinDev Canada’s investment. These risks are diverse and difficult to determine pre-investment. The key mitigant for these risks in most cases is the implementation of an adequate E&S management system by our clients to ensure identification and management of E&S risks in their own investments.

Aggregated E&S performance of the portfolio

FinDev Canada’s clients have fulfilled their E&S commitments during the 2020 year, including the delivery of E&S action plan items, reporting of material E&S incidents and regular environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance reports as required in loan documents.

Number of complaints received

No E&S complaints have been submitted through our grievance mechanism or through existing stakeholder communication and public engagement channels.

FinDev Canada Technical Assistance Facility

FinDev Canada’s Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) was launched in 2020 with funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to enable private sector entities, and market-level players, to deepen their development outcomes and scale sustainably.

In the spring of 2020, FinDev Canada launched its TAF with funding from Global Affairs Canada. Technical assistance (TA) is widely used in development finance to accelerate the performance and development impact of private sector entities and address market-level constraints. With the launch of the TAF, FinDev Canada adds a strategic tool to support investees in their impact journeys, and also further FinDev Canada’s leadership position in areas such as gender action.

Project visualization

EcoEnterprises Fund III (EEFIII)
Focus Area
Business Performance
Impactful Data
Gender Action
  1. Enhance the Fund Manager’s E&S risk management capabilities, and
  2. Strengthen advisory services provided to EEFIII’s portfolio clients, specifically on gender action.

The mentor session has been a great space for us to brainstorm as women in the health sector and for me to better understand what I need to monetize among the services we offer and how I can optimize all possible sources of revenue for my business.

Invest2Impact business participant


In 2019, FinDev Canada, CDC Group (CDC) of the United Kingdom, Proparco of France and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) of the United States, along with the Mastercard Foundation, launched the 2X Invest2Impact business competition, which allowed the identification of a cohort of 100 high-potential, women-owned businesses.

After celebrating the winners at the Global Gender Summit in Kigali, FinDev Canada continued to provide business advisory services to the cohort of inspiring women entrepreneurs. In addition, along with Agence française de développement and Proparco, with the support of CDC and DFC, and the implementing partner Open Capital Advisors (OCA), FinDev Canada developed an offer for continued support beyond 2020 that would cater to the unique needs of these businesses.

2X Challenge

FinDev Canada chaired the 2X Challenge between August 2019 and June 2020. Just two years after the launch of the 2X Challenge at the G7 Charlevoix Summit in Canada, the initiative committed and mobilized a total $4.5 billion in gender-smart investments by the end of 2019. Founding G7 DFIs contributed and mobilized $4.1 billion, surpassing the initial target of $3 billion. DFIs remain the primary source of capital toward the challenge (with their own balance sheet representing $2.4 billion of the overall amount), while private sector financiers and other investors accounted for $1.2 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively.

UN Women

UN Women is a key partner in advancing our strategic objective of women’s economic empowerment. FinDev Canada partnered with UN Women for different initiatives, such as:

Fund design with a gender lens

In November 2020, FinDev Canada, UN Women and Lelapa hosted a virtual session entitled “Fund design: building for the underserved African market with a gender lens.” This workshop brought together more than 50 development finance institutions (DFIs) and general partners (GPs) for an open, honest dialogue on investing with a gender lens in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the underserved African market.

Portfolio growth and continued support to clients

In the near term, the priority will be to maintain support to existing clients, responding to their needs as the pandemic evolves and as economies and markets return to a semblance of normalcy. We will focus on delivering liquidity rapidly to target markets, leveraging the intermediary role of local financial institutions. At the same time, we will continue to grow our portfolio and maintain a pipeline of future investments. We will do this by staying in touch with key stakeholders in our priority markets and sectors, mindful of the importance of promoting Canadian impact investing to achieve inclusive, sustainable private sector growth. We will also seek to expand our portfolio by solidifying partnerships with peer DFIs. This will include collaboration on investment or other business operations, including co-investments where appropriate.

Gender-lens investing

To maintain our leadership in gender-lens investing, we will structure more deals that respond more fully to the 2X Challenge criteria and/or promote women’s economic empowerment. The success of these initiatives in 2020 and their impact demonstrates again that investing in women produces multiple benefits that reach across an economy and a society. These efforts will be crucial given the disproportionate impact that the pandemic has had on women, whether in the workplace, marketplace or community. To ensure that our approach is aligned with the realities in our regions of operation, we will review our COVID-19 response with a gender lens and develop a methodology to engage more directly with women in our regions, building on initiatives such as Invest2Impact and the “Fund design: building for the underserved African market with a gender-lens” dialogue.

More value-added offerings for clients

Our new Technical Assistance Facility will contribute to the success of clients by providing them, or the markets where they operate, with global knowledge, practical experience and data to reinforce the financial support we bring. By helping to build capacity, enhance business performance and achieve greater developmental impact, we move closer to ensuring sustainable, inclusive growth and poverty reduction. We also intend to expand our work with clients in promoting and implementing good environmental and social risk management policies aligned with international best practice.

Technology for growth

The benefits of previous investments in our ICT infrastructure were clear in 2020, which is why we will continue to build out our technological capabilities. This will also enable us to take greater advantage of data-enabled business models and digital technology to scale our operations and seize opportunities.

Climate change strategy

In 2021, we will publish FinDev Canada’s climate change strategy to articulate our positioning and priorities, building on the positive climate impact that we have already delivered over the past three years. This strategy is being developed in consultation with our peers and stakeholders, and it will reinforce how we are promoting both gender and climate action across our investments.

Continued COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic is leading us to adjust the way we operate. Reduced travel, for instance, is limiting our ability to be physically present in key markets, an obstacle that we can overcome by working with partners and relying more on smart use of technology.

However, while COVID-19 is creating limitations it is also leading to increased demand for our products and services. In response, we have ramped up productivity while staying focused on results. That approach is bearing fruit: in 2020, we more than doubled our 2019 transaction volumes.

2X Canada: Partnering with Global Affairs Canada to enhance our COVID-19 response

2X Canada is a CAD 75.9 million blended concessional finance facility that will contribute to the socio-economic wellbeing of underserved populations, particularly women, in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Administered by FinDev Canada and funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, 2X Canada will support investments that drive positive impact on women’s economic empowerment – women as entrepreneurs, leaders, employees and economic agents.