We achieve this by carefully considering the impact, both positive and negative, of the investments we make.
Each investment is evaluated not just from an economic perspective but also taking into account social and environmental issues. We aim to positively impact both:
- the entrepreneurs and companies which partner with us; and
- the country and local communities by the projects that we undertake.
At the corporate level, we support worthwhile causes that contribute to the educational and environmental development of the country and/or support humanitarian relief efforts, while at the portfolio company level we require our portfolio partners to identify and adopt practices to develop the workforce and their local communities, for example:
- AP Towers has brought mobile telephony to over 90% of the country. That brings not just communication but also knowledge and empowerment through access to the internet and social media. At the operating level, we require that AP Towers has a robust CSR policy that encompasses, for example, not using child labour throughout its business operations. The same policy was reviewed and accepted by the US Government’s OPIC when they lent to Apollo Towers a predecessor company.
- MFIL has brought microfinance to nearly 40,000 people from poor and low income backgrounds who would otherwise have had no access to formal financial services. With these funds they have been able to expand their businesses and improve their livelihoods. At the operating level we require that MFIL has strong controls to ensure lending is in compliance with Norfund’s Exclusion List Policy.
- Medicare has opened a chain of over 20 pharmaceutical and healthcare shops in Myanmar bringing medicine and consumer goods to the population in their neighbourhoods.