Global Impact

Here’s to another year of impact investment! We will remember 2023 as one of continued growth – of our portfolio and our team – as well as the launch of our second microfinance fund, Envest Plus. We also added two new MFI partners and started lending in a new country, Colombia. Our MFI partners are committed to lending to traditionally marginalized borrowers, such as women and rural residents, in 12 countries. For us at Envest, impact investment means making sure that everyone benefits. Investors see a return on capital, while borrowers have access to affordable finance that helps the local community and the environment.

Feature Story

Integrating Financial Inclusion with Environmental Consciousness
By Elizabeth Rodriguez
In September 2023, I traveled to East Africa where I had the opportunity to step away from my usual desk work and experience firsthand the vital role played by our microfinance partners. I met Ann Wangari (see photo above) in Thika, Kenya. She is a 54-year-old farmer, wife, and mother of seven. Ann told me she has taken several loans from VEP, her local microfinance organization, to buy solar lights, a fuel efficient cookstove, a solar power bank, and a water tank. I saw how Ann family's life was transformed by now having access to clean water and reliable lighting. But most importantly, I understood what a powerful impact responsible finance can have on Ann's entire community. Read more
Investor Spotlight
Congratulations to Sylvia Panek for being named Envest's new President of the board! Sylvia has been involved with Envest for many years, because, as she put it, "there are still many regions in the developing world that major institutional capital fails to reach". A child of Polish immigrants who sought asylum in the US, Sylvia Panek was born and raised in Chicago. Her family moved back to Poland in the 90s, where she witnessed the impact that decades of oppression had in stymieing the country's development. Eventually the family returned to the United States but the years abroad left a strong impression on the importance of civil rights and self-determination in a healthy society. Coupled with a passion for nature, Sylvia found a rewarding career in sustainable and socially responsible finance that aligned with her vision for a better world.  Read more

Put Your Money to Good Work

Kigarama Farmers SACCO is a microfinance cooperative formed by farmers in Western Uganda. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the government restricted people’s movements for many months. Suddenly, farmers were unable to take their bananas to market. They tried reducing the banana price, then they gave their harvests to neighbors, or used it to feed animals. Was all their hard work going to be wasted? Not when you have a local microfinance cooperative that was willing to help. The farmers came together as a group and asked Kigarama to finance a wine production business for plantain bananas. It didn’t happen overnight, but it worked! Kigarama borrowed funds from Envest to make loans to the banana farmers for fermentation and distilling equipment, a storage facility, and bottling supplies. Farmers partnered with nearby villages to buy inputs at a low price, and now banana wine has turned out to be a marketable product. Due to access to finance, the farmers limited risk and minimized waste – while optimizing profits. 

Several Envest MFI partners like Kigarama are currently waiting for a loan disbursement. An investment of $50,000 could help finance many microfinance borrowers who would not otherwise be able to invest in their businesses.
 Contact us to learn more about available investment opportunities.
Copyright © 2023 Envest Microfinance, All rights reserved.

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