Investing in local companies to support refugees and host communities in Uganda and Jordan
ABOUT the RIF
The RIF seeks to address the challenges of unemployment, lack of economic opportunity and limited access to services and goods that are faced by refugees and their host communities. The impact-linked loans provided through the RIF will allow the enterprises to maintain or build their focus on refugee and host community populations, grow their businesses, and be financially rewarded through interest rate reductions for direct and measurable impacts they have on the refugee and host communities they are serving. The RIF invests along four impact themes: increasing the employability of displacement affected populations; increasing decent employment for displacement affected populations; improving financial inclusion of displacement affected populations; and increasing access to relevant products and services for displacement affected populations.
Combining impact-linked loans and technical assistance
Through the RIF, companies will receive two types of support: (1) favourable financing through impact-linked loans and other financial instruments, (2) technical assistance for business development and refugee impact. Impact-linked loans provide financing at concessional rates to impact organizations that are rewarded for achieving pre-agreed development outcomes. These loans will have longer tenors (~3-5 years) with the interest rates tied to achievement of outcomes (“better terms for better impact”). The more impact the organization achieves over the term of the loan, the lower its cost of financing. For the RIF, the interest rate for each company will be linked to one or more KPIs that relates directly back to impact themes of the facility, resulting in measurable impacts on decent work, capacity and skills, financial inclusion, and access to goods and services. The RIF Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) is established to provide technical assistance to the RIF’s investees to support business growth and impact targets. While the impact-linked loans deployed by the RIF addresses key financing challenges for such enterprises, enabling business expansion, product and service delivery, and job creation by tailoring financing terms to the local context and individual enterprises, the target enterprises for the RIF will often need business development services and advisory on how to maximize impact in refugee communities to make the best use of the financing provided through the RIF. The TAF seeks to maximise the growth and social impact objectives of the RIF and each investment by making Refugee Impact Advisory (RIA) and Business Development Services (BDS) available and accessible to investees. It is designed to enable mentoring and advisory on refugee impact through DRC advisors and support joint DRC/investee engagement with refugee hosting communities and impact monitoring initiatives. In doing so it leverages DRC’s unique understanding and footprint in refugee hosting areas as well as its networks among supportive programming partners for the social impact and sustainable growth ambitions of investees and the RIF generally. Further, it builds on and partners with locally available BDS services in each focus country to link up investees with relevant services, so that investees can access the necessary business development services in the most locally relevant and cost effective way.
The RIF seeks to contribute to long-term improvements in quality of life for refugees and host communities through making investments in companies or social enterprises with activities in Jordan and Uganda that address critical impact gaps. Specifically, the RIF Portfolio will employ a strategy to support refugees, other displaced persons and their host communities (as detailed below) by: (1) building relevant capacities, (2) fostering decent work opportunities, (3) promoting financial inclusion, and (4) supporting access to critical goods and services.