Posts for Enclude Blog

Posted on June 16, 2015

Posted by: Nimrah Karim, Consultant, Sustainable Business Practices

Who is growing SME businesses in Karachi and Peshawar?  Uzma Tariq and other women entrepreneurs are a big part of current growth, and Womenx is here to support them.  Managed by Enclude under a contract from the World Bank, Womenx is a business education and support programme that brings Pakistani business women together to inspire, network, and learn from each other and from expert mentors.  Here we profile some of the energetic and inspiring participants of this program.

Uzma TariqBuilding on a family experience in the printing business, Uzma Tariq has opened Maheen Printing Press.  The company aims at an underserved market Uzma identified in her area, for relatively small printing orders.  Eight years on since she first began her enterprise, Uzma runs her printing business with 8 full-time employees and prints catalogues, calendars, and brochures for major textile and sugar mills, fashion companies, educational institutes, private banks, advertising agencies, and hospitals.

The primary constraint Uzma currently faces is limited space for more machines, which is why she often resorts to outsourcing work. The Womenx program has helped Uzma gain clarity on her vision for Maheen Printing Press in the next 12 months: to move to a more spacious location and hence expand her capacity, to clarify her niche, rebrand and reposition her services, and create a robust marketing strategy targeting her client base. In particular, Uzma is keen to partner with other women-owned businesses in need of printing services.  See more about Maheen Printing Press.

Posted on June 15, 2015

Posted by: Anouk Verheijen, Regional Representative and Senior Consultant, Sustainable Business Practices

As a country with high-intensity energy usage, South Africa is also a major emitter of greenhouse gases.  At the same time, the country has been slow to adopt renewables into the energy mix and to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency improvements. To help tackle these issues, Enclude is currently managing a technical assistance facility and €120 million green credit line from the French Development Agency (AFD) for small scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The AFD credit line is a concessional loan facility made available to three banks, namely ABSA, IDC, and Nedbank. Using a demand-driven approach, Enclude assists partner banks in building capacity in renewable energy and energy efficiency financing. Services provided under this facility range from designing project finance models for biogas projects to providing on-the job assistance to credit officers in assessing green loan applications.

The technical facility has been instrumental in building a pipeline of projects for the participating banks. More than 90% of the funds available through the credit facility have been committed to over 115 geographically and technologically diverse projects. This has resulted in 51 Megawatts of renewable energy capacity installed and over 300,000 tons reduction of CO2 emissions. Due to the success of this program, AFD is now intending to roll out a second green credit line in South Africa.

SANEDI _Rooftop PV system_2015 (PR-297)
Rooftop PV system  (1MW) installed at Ceres Fruit Growers – One of the Projects Financed Under the AFD green credit line for South Africa

Posted on April 28, 2015

Posted by: François Ritchot, Analyst, Inclusive Finance

DGJS9522_AfDB E&S Training_Mar 2015

You might think that managing environmental and social performance would be a tough sell among hardboiled bankers incented mainly to drive revenue and portfolio growth.  But when I participated in an introductory training on the topic this March in Tunis, led by Geert Jan Schuite, Enclude’s Global Group Lead of Outcomes Management & Strategy, I was surprised to find how open financial institution managers were to the concept.  In fact, if I were to describe the experience in one word it would be openness: participants not only opened up to the subject – which was a completely foreign concept for many – but also to one another.

Delivered by Enclude and funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), this training involved eleven banks and leasing companies from Northern Africa, as well as institutions working across Africa and several smaller Tunisian institutions. Understanding and current integration of E&S risk management in operations varied widely across the audience.

It was interesting to watch how attitudes and behaviors changed visibly over the three days of training.  On the first day, many entered the training room looking reserved, and in some cases, even mildly annoyed.  During the introduction, some participants bluntly admitted their skepticism, and others said they would not be there if E&S management were not a pre-requisite to get funding from AfDB.  In fact, in providing this training, AfDB and Enclude had gathered a group of professionals who normally interacted as employees of competing institutions, rarely as learning partners.

Posted on February 19, 2015

Posted by: Nimrah Karim, Consultant, Sustainable Business Practices

WomenX Cohort1_01_1


Womenx is proud to provide business education and support services for these inspiring women and their small and medium sized ventures.


WomenX Cohort1_03

Through Womenx, Enclude, the World Bank, Minding Her Business, and the Institute for Business Administration have worked with the entrepreneurs to make the next steps toward their goals.  Afshan Lakdawala, a participant in the first cohort and CEO of Precision Trading, says of the Womenx training:

“[I] would recommend it a 100%!!! For the longest time, I thought I was operating in isolation. My business problems were only mine, and no one could help me out.Having been a part of the program now for around 6-7 sessions, I have learnt that all entrepreneurs have similar problems, and each has a unique way of handling it. There is a whole lot to be learnt, it’s a great environment to network in, and not only do we learn from the educational content, but also from each other…being a part of this has helped boost my confidence level and create ideas for my business which did not come to the forefront before. I am sure, just like me, there are lots of women business owners who will have a lot to benefit from, through this program.”



Click for more about the first cohort and more about the Womenx program and application process.

Posted on February 06, 2015

Posted by: Daniel Gies, Senior Consultant, Inclusive Finance

NBE Team Photos 2This year, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the largest bank in Egypt with over $30 billion in assets, has worked with Enclude to commit itself to implementing a new strategy to increase the size, effectiveness and efficiency of its lending to the agricultural sector.  Over the course of seven months in 2014, Enclude assisted the NBE in developing its agricultural finance strategy and business plan in order to help the bank to realize this commitment.  The development of the new lending strategy for the bank is a part of the Rural Income and Economic Enhancement Project (RIEEP), which is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and implemented by Enclude as a major subcontractor to the Social Fund for Development (SFD) of Egypt.

The five-person Enclude team brought together a high level of targeted agricultural expertise and local research to facilitate the development of the bank’s new strategy, which is aimed directly at seven key sectors in the local agricultural value chain.  Inside the bank, the Enclude team worked closely with NBE staff to review the bank’s current strategy and position in the overall Egyptian financial marketplace, as well as NBE’s current loan portfolio and credit risk management system, SME loan products, agricultural lending, and Islamic banking activities. This internal assessment was then combined with a number of local market assessment initiatives, including a diagnostic of the SME landscape, an analysis of the agricultural value chain, and a survey of the borrowing needs of over 500 current NBE clients.

Posted on February 05, 2015

Posted by: Wieteke Gondrie, Senior Consultant, Sustainable Business Practices and Gerrit Ribbink, Technical Team Lead, Entrepreneurship

VTC Tanzania feb09 project 540Last year, Enclude and its partners finalised the introduction of entrepreneurship training in Tanzanian vocational training centres, that offer the students real alternatives to put the vocational skills they have learned to work in new and productive ways – for themselves, and for their communities.

In 2006 Enclude, together with its Tanzanian partners the Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College and Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), started the implementation of the Nuffic-funded project “EUVETA.”  After 8 years of intensively working together with our Tanzanian partners, the project was successfully closed last year.

The aim of the EUVETA project or “Entrepreneurship in VETA” (in Swahili:  Elimu ya Ujasiriamali VETA), was to develop and introduce a new entrepreneurship curriculum at the Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College (MVTTC) and introduce this curriculum in the Tanzanian Vocational Training Centers (VTCs).

Posted on December 10, 2014

Posted by: Mishal Halim, Analyst, Sustainable Business Practices

IBA 1Together with  World Bank and local partners, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Minding Her Business, Enclude is pleased to announce the launch of   Womenx, a pilot program providing transformative business education and support services to women entrepreneurs running small and medium sized enterprises in Karachi, Pakistan.

September’s inaugural Womenx cohort brings together 39 high-powered, dynamic women entrepreneurs  representing diverse socio-economic backgrounds and a wide array of business and service industries, including apparel and accessories, food and beverages, furniture, ICT and electronics, and transportation. Some started their businesses just a year ago, while others have been operating for more than 15 years, but they all have one thing in common: the desire to grow an impactful, sustainable business.

Providing services specific to the local context and needs of Pakistani women entrepreneurs, Womenx will support women entrepreneurs in taking their businesses to the next level, by building business acumen, skills and networks. Over the course of two years, Womenx will work with 350 women in Karachi, and 50 women in Peshawar.

Posted on May 30, 2014

Posted by: Kathy Vilnrotter, Senior Analyst, Technical Expertise

KathyV_WUFMedellin, Colombia was swarming with urbanists, sanitation experts, public health advocates, researchers, policy makers, and representatives from emerging markets.  They all came looking for something. Some came for ideas, some for recognition, others for funding, but no matter the reason there seemed to be a common question. ‘How can we finance it?’ While there was a plethora of ideas and a diverse set of urban circumstances to tackle, the common challenge seemed to be finding a successful financial model.

The difficulty when dealing with financing urban projects stems from the vast number of stakeholders and partners that need to be involved. Many development finance initiatives target a financial institution or other private sector actor (such as a telecom company, or a concrete supplier) to invest in an urban project.  The complexity of the urban condition requires many stakeholders to be on board (and on the same page!) in order to achieve successful interventions.  Stakeholders range from homeowners to public institutions, from the neighborhood bricklayer to the national government, and many in between. Not only is coordination tricky and time consuming, but making the business case for each partner that addresses each one’s specific incentives (which many times appear to be in conflict) poses a challenge. Because many of these obstacles stem from a disconnect between stakeholders and the urban community, there exists a great deal of opportunity in localizing the planning and financing of urban projects.

Posted on April 22, 2014

Posted by: Meenu Mynam, Analyst, Channels & Linkages

sub-k photo 2The Sub-K Branchless Banking Network project was launched in India in 2012 to demonstrate a successful business case for the business correspondent model of financial inclusion in India. Sub-K is an agent network company with a mobile banking platform designed to provide financial services to India’s low-income rural households.  The project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has strengthened and expanded Sub-K’s agent network and created a highly scalable and secure transaction platform.  Sub-K is now poised to become one of the primary providers of digital payments in rural areas.  As of today, Sub-K has around 350,000 customers with close to 2,100 agents in 24 states.

Sub-K’s performance contrasts with that of most other business correspondent companies in India. In the business correspondent model, banks use the services of nonbank organisations (microfinance institutions, NGOs, civil society organisations, and for profit entities) as intermediaries that provide financial services in underserved areas, especially rural areas or urban slums, in exchange for a fee.  The model was created to address the lack of formal financial services for India’s rural and urban low income households, since only 35% of the adult population in India has been mainstreamed into the financial ecosystem, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex survey.

The business correspondent model has not reached its full potential due to problems ranging from regulatory hurdles to lack of customer awareness. Dormancy of accounts is a major challenge faced by all business correspondent companies – accounts are opened but rarely if ever used, primarily due to low customer awareness of the available services. Marketing is needed to reduce this problem, but the banks, to which the customers belong, are not willing to pay their share of the marketing costs.

Posted on April 21, 2014

Posted by: Arjan Visser, Senior Consultant, Sustainable Business Practices

In November, Enclude concluded an assignment under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that delivered recommendations to the Government of Honduras and its financing partners (the IDB and the International Finance Corporation) on the development of a national investment facility for renewable energy.

Both power consumption and prices of imported fossil fuels have been rising steadily in Honduras in recent years, increasing the country’s carbon output and imposing a greater cost burden on local energy consumers. Access to capital will be an important need amongst clean energy project developers. Offering credit lines through a renewable energy facility that provides low cost funds over an extended term would encourage banks and equity investors to finance projects structured as long-term power purchase agreements with large, private consumers of electricity as well as with  the state-owned power company.

Relying on a list of key potential energy projects, Enclude presented recommendations on how a US$10 million contribution from the UNDP Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) could be leveraged with additional funding from equity and debt providers to increase private sector investment in clean energy production. In addition, Enclude’s team worked with the country’s Ministry of Finance to acquire an additional US$15 million in funding for the proposed clean energy facility. The country’s preparedness for a pipeline of clean energy projects and the availability of newly-raised capital helped to make Honduras the most prepared country among those participating in the SREP program.