Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 7, 2010
— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Small Enterprise Assistance
Funds today announced the launch of SEAF Bangladesh Ventures, a permanent
capital vehicle that will invest in 300 small and medium enterprises in
Bangladesh over a period of 10 years.
IFC invested $12 million in initial capital in the initiative in June 2010
to provide structured growth capital of up to $500,000 per investment.
Those funds are combined with strategic advisory and business support services
to promising small businesses in Bangladesh. SEAF will work with its local
strategic partner, Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh Ltd., and target
raising an additional $10 million to $15 million in capital for the initiative
over a one-year period.
“Access to strategic financial advice is one of the biggest challenges
that small and medium enterprises face in our country. IFC and SEAF’s
joint initiative will be a real boost for their growth,” said Dr. S. A.
Samad, Executive Chairman Bangladesh’s Board of Investment.
“We are excited to partner with IFC to address the underserved needs of
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs,” said Bert van der Vaart, Co-founder and Executive
Chairman of SEAF. “Ventures will provide long- term financing that would
support the development of various sectors of the Bangladeshi economy.”
Reduced availability of trade financing in Bangladesh has posed particular
economic challenges for small and medium businesses to grow in recent years.
However, this venture facilitates transactions in challenging markets and
promotes competitive financing, thereby reducing risk and enabling small
and medium enterprises to engage in trade.
Tom Davenport, IFC Regional Director for South Asia said, “IFC is committed
to supporting innovative solutions that enhance access to finance for small
entrepreneurs. The launch of this ventures comes at an ideal time for Bangladesh
where, despite attractive macro-economic trends, small businesses remain
capital constrained, often due to a lack of collateral or limited near-term
SEAF’s management team for the venture will be led by its Managing Partners,
Dr. Zia Ahmed and Fahim Ahmed, who bring with them extensive experience
in evaluating investment opportunities and delivering advisory support
to emerging businesses in Bangladesh and across the world.
To learn more about IFC in South Asia, please visit www.ifc.org/southasia
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Founded in 1989, SEAF is an emerging market investment firm headquartered
in Washington, D.C., with offices in 20 countries in Asia, Europe, and
Latin America. SEAF has invested in over 330 companies across 30 countries,
and managed over $500 million in capital. For more information, please