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OPIC Extends Successful Pilot Program, Strengthens U.S.-led International Development



Thursday, February 11, 2016

(The Exporting Source)  WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, today announced the extension of the Portfolio for Impact (PI), a successful pilot program first launched in May, 2014. The PI program facilitates financing of highly developmental and innovative early-stage projects, which otherwise face challenges in attracting growth capital.

“The Portfolio for Impact is a proud example of OPIC’s ability to respond to unique development strategies and successfully support U.S. investment in some of the world’s most challenging economies,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “By extending the term of this program, OPIC can now reach even more high-impact projects that would otherwise not have been able to secure growth financing. This means tangible development effects like sustainable agriculture, access to water and power, and clean cooking solutions for people in emerging economies around the world.”

OPIC’s overall lending portfolio supports private businesses that are working around the world in critical development sectors like education, access to finance, housing, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and renewable energy. But sometimes these businesses cannot secure the necessary financing to scale, due to smaller size, unique business models, and operation in untested regions or sectors. The PI pilot program aims to lift these projects that might have otherwise faced challenges to progress.

During the initial phase of PI, OPIC commitments of over $30 million have supported seven projects operating across the developing world, including India, Indonesia, and multiple African countries. Highlights from this total include:

$4 million in financing to Envirofit International, a Colorado-based social enterprise that distributes cutting edge, high quality, low cost, clean cookstove technology across the world.

$3.7 million in financing to Big Tree Farms, an Oregon-based company that is advancing sustainable, organic coconut and cocoa agriculture across Indonesia.

$4.75 million in financing to PAMIGA, an impact investor that for over a decade has been supporting access to finance for poor individuals, households, small farms and businesses in rural sub-Saharan Africa through its network of microfinance institutions.

OPIC’s successful PI pilot program will be extended an additional five years, with goals to finance up to $200 million over the life of the pilot to an increased number of these high-impact projects. Businesses interested in working with OPIC can read more about the Portfolio for Impact at www.opic.gov.