Performance on our strategy

This chapter outlines our 2020 performance with respect to FMO’s three strategic pillars: a higher impact portfolio in our chosen industries, deeper relationships and higher productivity. 

Our response to COVID-19

The private sector is needed to address the public health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and safeguard employment in both the formal and informal sector. Therefore, FMO continues to work closely with its customers to boost resilience during and post-COVID-19. We are in close contact with them to understand how they expect to be impacted by the pandemic, and what, specifically, they need to overcome the current crisis and support their communities. We are closely aligning our COVID-19 response with partners.

Together with the DFI and MDB community we are committed to helping resolve current liquidity and solvency issues. Whilst FMO’s focus is typically on supporting jobs, it is unavoidable that some retrenchment takes place in the current environment. FMO works closely with its customers to protect jobs and to ensure retrenchment happens in a responsible way if necessary.

We provide our existing customers greater flexibility on previously agreed financing structures, including moratorium on debt payments for firms in distress or for firms that offer deferrals to their clients, which is common in the microfinance sector. We have approved 18 payment deferrals and 3 full restructuring requests from existing customers. We also continue to invest in new and existing business ventures, while exploring new ways to conduct due diligence and source opportunities by working closely with on-the-ground staff and external partners.

As small businesses are heavily affected, the European Commission, together with MASSIF and FMO scaled up the NASIRA program. The program is expanded to support COVID-19-affected entrepreneurs, next to female, young and migrant entrepreneurs who were already included. With these adjustments, the NASIRA guarantee will help small businesses in Africa and the European Neighborhood stay afloat during and after this pandemic. In response to the need for innovative technological solutions in our markets in Africa and Asia, FMO's NL Business team has supported several transactions by Dutch organizations, active in the Health and Water sector, based on a COVID-19 carve-out of €1 million from the Development Accelerator facility.

FMO also offers capacity development, which is comprised of three pillars, aimed to equip FMO customers with the critical knowledge, connections, and leadership they need to weather the social and economic implications of the crisis over the near- and long-term.

Pillar 1, Remote Advisory Services, helps to ensure FMO customers can achieve sustained impact and business continuity. Working through leading financial consultancies, FMO is supporting its customers on pertinent topics such as crisis management, business continuity and resilience planning, adaptive leadership and coaching, as well as in environmental, social and governance related challenges. As of July, there are 17 projects under implementation across nearly all sectors and regions. 

For Pillar 2, a Platform for Learning and Exchange, FMO is providing a space for its customers to learn from each other and to exchange experiences in dealing with the pandemic. So far, 18 webinars have been offered with approximately 700 attendees and featuring 15 customers as panelists.

For Pillar 3, the Emergency Grant Facility, FMO is providing €3.5 million in emergency funding to enable FMO customers to adapt or scale their business models. In total, 45 FMO customers are being awarded with a grant. Over 60% of grants focus on safeguarding the health and safety of affected employees, workers, and communities through the provision of personal protective equipment. The remaining 40% focus on business continuity by means of digitalization, last mile distribution of renewable energy to medical facilities and water and sanitation to communities, as well as awareness raising and education around effective health and safety measures to combat transmission.