Building investment ready business cases for impact

How market-based solutions help address global challenges

Potatoes harvested

For more than 50 years, SNV has worked to address global challenges across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, applying our expertise in agri-food, energy, and water to improve lives.

Working with farmers, agribusinesses, entrepreneurs and local service providers in energy and water allows us to identify unmet market demand early on and use that as starting point to address the root causes of why markets fail to meet the needs of people living in poverty.

We support young entrepreneurs to build their business cases from possible to profitable by identifying the business cases with the greatest potential,  strengthening skills for business planning, marketing and operations, and launching viable commercial enterprises. Or working with existing businesses to expand, make the business investor-ready and broker for financing available on reasonable terms. SNV supports investment readiness across four phases of business growth.

Identifying impactful opportunities

Using our long-standing trusted local position, we use a set of tools (including calls for proposals, industry networks, matchmaking and word of mouth) to identify investment opportunities which have the potential to deliver lasting impact to the community and a sustainable return for investors. Once selected, we work to strengthen basic business principles to improve their business plans, incorporating concepts such as cost and benefit analyses, profit and loss statements, resource management and supply and demand commitments. In practice, we often see that the capacity to apply these principles does not exist yet. So, we support entrepreneurs in building their business development skills.

Challenging businesses to transform markets

In the following phase, we work with businesses with the greatest potential to scale. In this stage, SNV provides catalytic and innovation grants to businesses. Where appropriate, we use incentive-based grant structures like Results based Financing. Working on product development, marketing, business planning and management. Coaching and challenging businesses to further commercialise innovations with the potential to kickstart and transform markets. We do this, for example, through our Innovations Against Poverty Fund in Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia.

Scaling up while working towards bankability

As a next step, SNV links impact-seeking investors to local enterprises in the food, water and energy sectors. Supporting entrepreneurs in scaling-up activities while absorbing growth investments on their pathway to bankability. We provide business advisory services such as cash flow planning, accounting, capital raise structuring and legal analysis as well as general business planning, market scoping and reporting. In Ghana, SNV is working with Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited to address the access to finance gap for water entrepreneurs using a dedicated water- business acceleration programme and a revolving fund. Another example is our multi-country programme on Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) which aims to create an attractive environment for investment in climate-smart tools, technologies and services for agribusiness in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda either through commercial funding from financial institutions and private investors.

Strengthening access to finance

In phase four, SNV works with developed businesses in the agri-food, water and energy sectors to strengthen access to a suite of commercial finance and insurance options provided by existing private lenders and other financial institutions. We do this through targeted de-risking interventions and establishing guarantee facilities in partnership with local financial institutions that build lenders’ confidence to extend credit in nascent sectors and less banked regions. SNV’s Renewable Energy Blended Finance Facility in Nepal is working with the Nepali government and NMB Bank Ltd. to establish a permanent Credit Guarantee Facility designed to de-risk commercial lending in the renewable energy sector.

Combining approaches for impact

Often multiple phases or all four come together in one programme, for example, in the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development. Here SNV supports FMO in the identification and (pre-) feasibility development of investment to further climate change adaptation. Providing grant funding and technical assistance for activities that will allow the graduation of business ideas targeting mitigation and adaptation to climate change into bankable business investment plans to be submitted to the fund's financing facilities or external investors.

For more information

Are you interested to learn more? Or would you like to explore teaming up with SNV? Please contact Alan Duggan, Market Development Manager, or Erica ten Broeke, Market Development Manager.