Q&A: EIB's Ruettgers on the risks and rewards of impact financing in Africa

Heike Ruettgers, division head of Development and Impact Finance at the European Investment Bank. Photo by: © European Union

ABIDJAN — Impact investing has gained popularity in recent years as some investors increasingly consider the social and environmental impact of projects, along with an intended financial return, when financing projects.

In places such as sub-Saharan Africa, impact finance is often a solution that bridges a financial gap and provides a borrowing response for entrepreneurs and startups, where traditional financial instruments lack the capacity to take on riskier ventures. Since 2014, the European Investment Bank has explored innovative financing through the creation of an impact financing envelope, or IFE, specifically for African Caribbean and Pacific countries to support the sustainability of SMEs.

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About the author

  • Christin roby

    Christin Roby

    Christin Roby is the West Africa Correspondent for Devex. Based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, she covers global development trends, health, technology, and policy. Before relocating to West Africa, Christin spent several years working in local newsrooms and earned her Master of Science in videography and global affairs reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her informed insight into the region stems from her diverse coverage of more than a dozen African nations.