Bangladeshi businesses can avail credit from $250 million worth of ESG First Fund, a finance initiative to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices among the businesses in Asia and Africa.
Aavishkaar Capital of India in partnership with KfW, a German state-owned investment and development bank, has introduced the fund recently.
“Bangladesh is one of the core targeted countries to moblise the fund,” said Nazmul Karim, Bangladesh Country Manager for Aavishkaar Capital.
Exporters, especially the medium-sized ones, who have strong commitment to ESG practices can avail the fund, added Mr Karim.
According to the statement issued by the Aavishkaar Capital, the ESG First Fund will seek to provide transformational capital which can be invested across the capital structure, helping businesses improve their ESG standards.
It also aims to enable the businesses with capabilities so that they can capitalise on the increasing consumer preference for ecologically-conscious, gender-equal and purpose-driven businesses and meet increasing demands on corporate due diligence in the course of regulatory measures in the European market.
The ESG First Fund is in general open to all sectors but focuses on those with high exports towards Europe, the statement said.
Commenting on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Anosha Wahidi, head of Division 120 -Policy on sustainability in global supply chains, commissioner for sustainability standards, said, “With our investment of 50 million euros, we want to help set up a fund that demonstrates that increased respect for ESG can be a viable investment and business model.
The German government has passed a due diligence law that obliges German companies to pay attention to social and ecological sustainability in their global supply chains, she said.
The fund is therefore primarily intended to help SMEs in Africa and Asia to meet the growing demands from European companies, she added.
Aavishkaar Capital (Aavishkaar), an Aavishkaar Group company, has already invested in a few Bangladeshi companies, including B2B e-commerce platform Sindabad and Fintech firm Cloudwell.
Aavishkaar Group founder and chairman Vineet Rai said the ESG First Fund takes forward the Aavishkaar Group’s vision to Bridge the Opportunity Gap for the emerging 3 Billion with its focus on ESG, Africa- Asia region, flexible instruments, Gender and climate change.