We bridge a gap between traditional banks and entrepreneurs seeking financing for international activities. With our project development activities and financing solutions, we build a bridge between the insurance activities of export credit insurer Atradius Dutch State Business and the services of government agency RVO. We bridge the gap between demand from governments in emerging markets and developing countries, and green innovative solutions, an area in which the Netherlands is particularly strong.
As a financier operating on behalf of the Dutch government, we respond to the capital needs of Dutch and/or Dutch-linked companies operating abroad. We offer them financing solutions that enable their international ambitions and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We also support governments in developing countries looking for infrastructure solutions and contribute to solving global challenges, such as the energy transition.
Our first year has shown that there is strong demand for international financing. We were established to work with other parties to facilitate the funding of a greater number of impactful projects; mainly for SMEs. In this way, we prevent entrepreneurs with good business plans from falling between the cracks in finding the right financing.
Our organisation was formed from RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and FMO (the Dutch development bank). With this foundation, we were able to get off to a flying start and pay attention to a clear range of existing government schemes and products; in order to become the ‘one-stop shop’ for entrepreneurs looking for funding for their international activities. Much has been invested in setting up a customer- and solution-oriented organisation in which the project or entrepreneur has a central role. Looking back, from a financial perspective, the organisation performed above expectations in 2022:
We put a lot of energy into building the organisation last year. The company has grown from 75 employees at the start in October 2021 to 131 employees by the end of 2022. This is a solid foundation for a future-proof organisation.
Invest International’s activities focus on SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and SDG 13 (Climate action) where our ambition is to have two-thirds of the portfolio contribute to these SDGs. The past year was all about making our impact measurable. For instance, we were able to measure the number of jobs created by realised projects. These totaled 12,979 direct and 14,665 indirect jobs, 50.1% of which were filled by women. In the coming period, we will work on further improving this measurement so that we can provide more guidance on this.
In 2022, 74 new projects and transactions were started. Several of them are highlighted in the annual report, an example of which is a financing facility that enables small export transactions starting from €100,000. This facility was designed together with Atradius Dutch State Business and asset manager OHV. Since its launch in November 2022, four transactions were closed in 2022 and there are now twenty-one. This makes it clear that the facility meets a demand in the market.
An example of a transaction combining our two focus sectors ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Agri-food’ is the financing of Naylor Nutrition. Invest International financed the export of a high-tech machine from Dutch company Colubris that converts green cabbage residue into sustainable protein for the plant-based food sector. We also assisted Dutch agricultural SME, Bontrup, which operates in Ukraine. With funding we manage on behalf of the government, Bontrup were able to realise additional grain silo capacity. This valuable transaction could not be carried out by traditional financiers due to the war and challenging conditions in the country.
In the ‘Water & Infrastructure’ sector, together with partner Atradius Dutch State Business, we developed and financed the construction of five bridges in Guinea. This development project will increase accessibility to and from city districts in Guinea and improve the quality of life for those living in the region. Collaboration between the Dutch and Guinean governments, and a combination of our public and private financing, made this project possible.
Within the ‘Energy’ sector, green hydrogen is a focal point. Last year, among other things, we financed Proton Ventures to build a new plant for the production of green ammonia, which is essential for the production of green hydrogen. We also set up a fund to finance green hydrogen production in low- and middle-income countries. The first concrete result from this is the ‘SDG Namibia One Fund’. This fund helps the government of Namibia invest in the local production and export of green hydrogen in a socially and economically responsible and sustainable way.
Besides SMEs, larger companies also know how to find Invest International for their financing needs. When these companies want to make a turn towards greener operations, or are working toward innovative solutions, we can support them, provided we are complementary to other market players. For example, Damen Shipyards, is able to pre-finance the development and production of hybrid and electric workboats with our offered working capital.
Want to read more? You can find our complete annual report and the annual reports about the project development facilities we manage on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here: