FCAI invests in the most fragile countries

First investments will be made in 2019 in Uganda and Somalia.

Finn Church Aid has taken up investment activities to the most fragile states of the world. It is a serious attempt to create something new. In developing countries, the creation of jobs plays a key role in the fight against poverty and inequality. Jobs and livelihood are also keys to sustainable peace.

According to World Bank estimates, the more than 600 million jobs need to be created during the next 15 years in order to give the growing population opportunities for decent livelihoods.

The challenges of the future are so great that conventional development cooperation alone will no longer suffice. New methods and tools are needed to support and scale development in the future. One of the new tools is FCA’s investment company, FCA Investments Ltd (FCAI), which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Up to 70% of new jobs emerge in SMEs and the proportion is even greater in the most fragile countries. However, even though small and medium-sized enterprises have the best potential of creating new jobs, they are also in the most difficult position in terms of getting financing to launch and develop their business operations.

FCA Investments also offers the SMEs support for developing business operations, such as financial management and administration. FCA specialists and business professionals, who wish to contribute their professional competence on a voluntary basis, can help these businesses.

The first direct investments will be made in  2019 in Uganda and possibly in Somalia. As the resources grow, investment activities can be launched, for example, in Cambodia, Jordan, Kenya, Myanmar, and Nepal.

FCA Investments invests in socially and environmentally responsible businesses that create jobs, raise the income level of low-paid employees, and reduce poverty. In its earlier projects, FCA has provided support to female entrepreneurs in particular. Securing employment for women and young people is one of the main goals of the investment activities of FCA Investments as well.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs granted FCAI a loan of EUR 16 million. FCAI will use the entire loan for investment activities. It will be used for business operations that create jobs, raise the income level of low-paid employees, and reduce poverty. An investment manager, enabling the preparation of direct investments in addition to others, has been appointed to Uganda.

A strong presence in FCA’s countries of operation, local competence, and conflict familiarity are among the strengths of FCA.

The target businesses should commit to the principles of good management and transparency and they should have credible operational competence. The size of an investment varies between EUR 100 000 and 1 million.

We are especially interested in funding businesses that have women or youth in key roles. We have not imposed any sector limitations. Examples of potential sectors include sustainable agriculture and food production, health care, water and sewer utilities, waste management, education, small industries, logistics, renewable energy, and financial services for small enterprises.