SIFEM - Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets

IMPACT REPORT 2023: SIFEM reports on its economic, social and environmental impact achievements

In 2022, the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) created important economic, social, and environmental impacts in developing countries. Over 600 companies in SIFEM’s investment portfolio supported more than 483,000 jobs, increased their financing for microentrepreneurs by 7% and for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by 15%, contributed to an increase of local tax payments by 12%, and produced 5,159 GWh of clean energy.

SIFEM’s impact goals are aligned with Switzerland’s International Cooperation Strategy 2021-24. As an instrument of the Swiss economic development cooperation, SIFEM supports the private sector in developing countries and its integration into the global economy, fostering economic growth and sustainable development. Furthermore, its investments contribute to addressing global climate challenges.

Supporting jobs

In 2022, companies in SIFEM’s portfolio supported 483,253 jobs, a 11% increase compared to 2021. SIFEM specialises in providing long-term financing to SMEs and other fast-growing companies, promoting economic growth and job creation. SIFEM’s investments contribute to boosting living standards, as jobs reduce food insecurity, improve health and well-being, and help build social cohesion.

Promoting social inclusion

Financial institutions in SIFEM’s investment portfolio increased their microloan and SME loan portfolios by 7% and 15%, respectively, providing access to crucial financial services to underserved populations. SIFEM facilitates the provision of financial services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), enabling them to invest in their businesses, manage their income and create a financial safety net.

Providing access to financial services to underserved people goes hand in hand with supporting gender equality. To support the creation of economic opportunities for women, SIFEM supports 2X Global, an initiative aiming to advance gender lens investing and bridge the financing gap that women face worldwide. 43% of investments made in 2022 were in line with this initiative. Moreover, 34% of jobs supported by SIFEM are held by women.

Climate change mitigation & adaptation

SIFEM is committed to addressing the urgent need for climate action and supporting inclusive, low-carbon economic growth and sustainable development in emerging markets. In line with its Strategic Objectives, SIFEM is allocating at least 25% of new investments to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation and aligning all new investments with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In 2022, SIFEM made three new climate investments in sustainable and affordable housing, agricultural technology, and renewable energy in Asia and Latin America.

In 2022, SIFEM portfolio companies produced a total of 5,159 GWh of clean energy, the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 800,000 Swiss residents in one year. The clean energy produced, and efforts made by other projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have led companies in SIFEM’s portfolio to avoid the emission of 4.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Filling financing gaps

Almost three-quarters of SIFEM’s investment portfolio was concentrated in Asia and Africa, including investments in 23 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). SIFEM also supports middle-income countries where private sector support is needed to promote economic development.

Jörg Frieden, Chairman of the Board: “As a development finance institution, SIFEM’s role is to fill financing gaps and to support private sector growth in emerging economies. By demonstrating financial sustainability and positive impact, SIFEM investments invite local and foreign investors to follow. SIFEM’s investment in the Ukrainian fund, Horizon Capital, shall be seen in this light: It recognises the urgent need for affordable capital in a market where interest rates are prohibitively high, and access to capital is scarce. This strategic investment not only aligns with our commitment to job creation and lasting impact but also showcases the power of partnership in times of adversity.”


Please find more information about SIFEM, achieved results and reporting methodology in the Impact Report 2023 


Mirjam Garzon, SIFEM Deputy Head Business Services Management,, +41 22 552 79 13