Customer and market support
Our customers are central to achieving FMO's impact ambitions. We provide the financial and non-financial means to support their business activities, aimed at creating positive economic, social and environmental outcomes within the countries and communities in which they operate. In addition to financial products, FMO provides capacity development and ESG advisory services and organizes events to support learning, knowledge sharing and capability building.
Each year, we carry out a customer satisfaction survey to gauge how we can better support our customers in carrying out these activities. We measure customer satisfaction in terms of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) or the extent to which customers would recommend FMO to others.
This year, 84 customers participated in the customer satisfaction survey which is lower compared to 2021 (102 customers) and 2020 (112 customers). This was due to a decrease in the number of eligible customers. The NPS was 71.4, which exceeds our target of 70 and the scores from the previous two years (65.5 in 2021 and 70.2 in 2020). This increase was mainly driven by improved customer satisfaction scores on FMO's product and services.
Customers indicated they felt FMO's product features fit their specific needs. Points of improvement mentioned by our customers were related to FMO's policies and pricing. In addition, customers indicated they used FMO capacity development, especially consultancy services for technical assistance. With respect to FMO's services, customers appreciate the collaboration with FMO with respect to the partnership and the continuous support that we provide to them, especially in difficult times. Furthermore, customers rated the impact FMO has had on them slightly higher across various dimensions, including environmental and social practices and corporate governance. Furthermore, more customers indicated they chose FMO for its long-term signaling effect towards other investors.
Following the success of the previous edition, FMO, IFC and Finnfund brought the African Cheetahs together again for a thought-provoking, interactive, two-day roundtable that took place in Nairobi, Kenya in May. The Cheetahs are a community of some 25 young and fast-growing food and agribusiness companies from across Sub-Saharan Africa that come together with the aim to share experiences and knowledge about successfully scaling agribusiness SMEs in often challenging emerging market environments. Through case studies, Cheetah community members analyzed strategic challenges, and together with the companies' executives, explored solutions. This year’s seminar also focused on bringing the world of AgTech and Agribusiness together. Under the FMO Ventures program AgTech companies were supported to scale to viable digital farmer service platforms connecting smallholders to inputs, guaranteed markets and finance. The combination of these young fast growing AgTech companies with the more mature African Cheetahs proved inspiring and showed great potential for cooperation.
FMO, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Finnfund, held the first Asian Tigers Sustainable Agribusiness Roundtable. This inaugural event, which took place in Singapore in October, brought together 80 industry leaders from across Southeast Asia to discuss current trends and challenges affecting companies in the region. Among the topics discussed were the need for greater investments to boost food security, tackle climate change, and protect biodiversity as well as the critical role development finance institutions play in supporting the private sector by providing much needed liquidity, patient capital, blended finance, and technical assistance.
FMO provides development contributions through our Capacity Development program including technical assistance to strengthen the organizational capabilities of our customers, investees, and prospects and contribute to shaping markets and building impactful partnerships. The development contributions are financed by FMO, the Dutch government, the European Commission and, since 2021, the UK government through the Mobilising Finance for Forests fund. In 2022, we provided €16 million in CD support (2021: €8 million).
Demand for capacity development remains high and focuses on value add and additionality, supporting the business case for bankable and investible projects, creating innovative partnerships and building ecosystems. We supported several of our customers on themes such as energy efficiency, certification and customer protection. In addition, we provided delegated technical assistance facilities to fund managers to support their underlying portfolio companies to create value and impact for stakeholders and shareholders. For example, FMO funded a bridge technical assistance facility to a fund manager in Georgia to identify SMEs relocating from Ukraine to Georgia and provide them with expatriation and relocation services and technical assistance in the form of fund-wide support projects, zero interest loans and grants to maintain business continuity and enable knowledge transfer.
Furthermore, we strengthened our customer’s business to support the growth of companies in a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable way. For example, under the NASIRA program FMO is supporting a bank in Nigeria to develop financial and non-financial products targeting youth and female entrepreneurs. The project has already developed distinct value propositions for tech-savvy youth entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs by nature – those who learned business with the help of their family – and proposed various adjustments to the bank’s products.