Posts for News

Posted on November 10, 2015

Leading up to the Power Shift conference in Oxford, Enclude CEO Laurie Spengler talks with MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth about the costs to society of failing to fully tap women as economic contributors, and what it will take to achieve greater economic inclusion and empowerment for women around the world. Power Shift Forum for Women in the World Economy brought together global leaders in Oxford Nov. 9th–10th to collaborate on solutions to obstacles women face in markets. Read the interview on the MasterCard Inclusion Hub.

Posted on August 11, 2015

WomenX Pakistan has been nominated for the 2015 Global Sourcing Council 3S Awards!  Help us get the word out about the amazing women entrepreneurs in the program by checking out our 5 minute video and voting for WomenX to win the 3S People’s Choice Award.

3S is an international awards program showcasing projects that bring sustainable and socially responsible sourcing principles into daily practices. Winners will be honored at the the United Nations Gala ceremony, September 16, 2015, the eve of the 70th General Assembly, where world leaders will adopt post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are shaping the future of global development and will redefine the business role in global development. All winners and nominees receive tremendous global visibility to thought leaders, industry influencers and key decision makers.

WomenX Pakistan is a pilot for a global World Bank program to support high-growth potential women entrepreneurs. The program is being implemented in Karachi and Peshawar by Enclude. Through the program, participating women business owners receive a package of services that directly address the range of constraints restricting their growth – with an emphasis on developing their capacity to improve enterprise management services and business performance outcomes – thereby stimulating job creation and contributing to economic growth. At a macro level, the program fosters a more innovative and inclusive entrepreneurial eco-system for women entrepreneurs.

Posted on August 06, 2015

Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO of OPIC, weighs in on what it means to make an impact investment and how to be inclusive of more traditional investors early forays into the space.  Littlefield thinks with Enclude President & CEO Laurie Spengler about whether every impact investment needs to hit the bullseye – and if not, how do we think inclusively and carefully about what impact investing can mean.

Posted on July 16, 2015

Where financial inclusion increases rapidly, so must financial capability.  Working with the World Bank, Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance (MINECOFIN), and the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA), Enclude is piloting a financial education curriculum to be delivered via Rwandan SACCOs. Read more here.

Posted on June 15, 2015

Enclude has had the pleasure to work with CASE i3 student co-chair Evelyn Powery on the initial stages of a forthcoming addition to our suite of tools that support financial institutions to reach their goals working with their female clients.  The CASE i3 Fellowship allows practitioners to engage MBA students on real-world challenges related to the diverse field of impact investing.

Evelyn shares why the project attracted her interest:

“Enclude’s Gender Team works with financial institutions, companies and social enterprises to more effectively serve women clients. … Why is this focus on women so important? Women entrepreneurs lead one-third of all small and medium enterprises (SME) in developing countries. However, only 16-18% of SME lending goes to women-led enterprises, leaving a gap that Enclude is hoping to help its clients fill. As we look at the barriers that women face and ways that financial institutions can be more intentional about reaching women effectively, the goal is to help women-led enterprises grow stronger, making the entire community stronger. To get there, we will need to see collaboration between lenders, entrepreneurs, capacity-builders, government agencies, and advisory firms like Enclude.”

Check out more of Evelyn’s observations on the CASE Blog.

Posted on June 09, 2015

Steven van Weede, Managing Director of Capital Advisory Services, shares what Enclude has learned advising 5 responsible exits in the past 3 years as a guest writer in Upsides, an initiative of FMO and Triodos Bank.  

The debate as to what constitutes a responsible exit has historically been focused on ensuring that the DNA of the acquirer is similar in make-up to that of the vendor. Although that obviously represents one means of securing a sustainable future for a business post-exit, it is by no means the only one, and arguably it is not the best approach. In our view, the interest of the social enterprise should be central – which new owner is best positioned and most likely to provide the institution what it needs to continue to deliver its services and to grow.An M&A specialist will start any sale process with an in-depth analysis of the business being sold. This serves to support the valuation case, bring out the key selling points, as well as any weaknesses and, with any luck, unearth any real problems when there is still time to address them. We argue that in this context the analysis should also include a detailed review of what it is the business needs to prosper.

An M&A specialist will start any sale process with an in-depth analysis of the business being sold. This serves to support the valuation case, bring out the key selling points, as well as any weaknesses and, with any luck, unearth any real problems when there is still time to address them. We argue that in this context the analysis should also include a detailed review of what it is the business needs to prosper.

Read on here.

Posted on May 05, 2015

Recently, the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) announced the first global open-ended investment company focussed on real economy banks, called SFRE (pronounced “Sapphire” and stands for Sustainability, Finance, Real Economies). The fund was created to support the growing segment of banks focused on serving individuals and enterprises whilst engaging in the triple bottom line approach to business: people, planet, and prosperity. The goal of the fund is to meet the capital growth needs of values-based financial institutions and expand their impact around the world and in emerging markets.

Laurie Spengler, President and CEO of Enclude, and her team acted as advisor to the GABV during the formation of the fund. Enclude continues as SFRE’s placement agent. Upsides interviewed Laurie about the fund’s effect on institutions in emerging markets and the formation of the new fund.

Read the full interview at Upsides, the online platform about the world of responsible finance and sustainable development in emerging markets.

Posted on April 06, 2015

Enclude CEO Laurie Spengler spoke at CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, about impact investing now and in the future.  Laurie delves into gaps in the current impact investing space: between rhetoric and participation in transactions, and in the analytical tools we need to provide to help investors perform risk/return analyses of transactions that truly capture total return.  Over the next 5 years, Laurie predicts, the opportunities inherent in these gaps will continue to create space for a maturing, robust ecosystem of investors, transaction professionals, and investment-seekers.  Check the CASE Chat 5 minute clip and the full video, Global Lessons on Leveraging Capacity with Capital for Impact.

Posted on April 01, 2015

London, April 1, 2015 – PROPARCO, the French Development Finance Institution, and GRET, an international NGO for fair development, under French law, have disposed of a combined 36% equity stake in Amret. The stake has been sold to a consortium consisting of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) alongside two existing shareholders, Advans S.A., SICAR and FMO, the Dutch counterpart of PROPARCO. The sellers were advised by Enclude Capital Advisory UK Limited, Enclude’s capital advisory services business.

Created by GRET in 1991 in the form of an experimental project to deliver microcredit to the rural population and duly registered with the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia as a private limited company in 2000, Amret has become one of the largest dedicated MFIs in Cambodia with an outstanding loan portfolio of about US$ 288m and over 300k borrowers as at 31 December 2014. It is one of only seven MFIs in the country licensed to accept deposits. At the same time, Amret has adhered closely to its mission of financial inclusion, providing a wide-range of financial products and services to low income people as well as micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises.

Led by its experienced management team, Amret is well-placed to expand further into financially underserved Cambodian villages and provinces as well as into urban centres, rolling out new products.

This investment enables Advans S.A. to become the majority shareholder of Amret, with Amret now becoming a full subsidiary of the Advans group. This will strengthen the synergies between the Advans group and Amret, and allow Advans to work more closely with the institution. The investment by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will further diversify the shareholder base and will help Amret to improve its corporate governance and disclosure standards to support its sustained growth.

Enclude acted as sole financial advisor and Gide Loyrette Nouel as the main legal advisor to the sellers in the transaction.

General Manager of GRET, Olivier Bruyeron said: “Amret’s experience is evidence of the efficiency of Overseas Development Aid (ODA) to experiment with models whose social goal can’t survive with a market-focused approach. In the ‘90s, believing it was possible for an institution to achieve financial equilibrium by lending few amounts to poor people in rural areas was not easy! We are proud, as NGO, to have contributed to the success of Amret. We are confident to have found the right owners to support Amret during the next steps in its growth without losing its social aim.”   

Amret’s CEO, Mr Chea Phalarin added: “We are excited to welcome IFC to our shareholder-base and are grateful for the endorsement from our existing shareholders, Advans and FMO, in this transaction. I am confident that the current ownership will enable us to move to the next stage in our development and continue our mission of financial inclusion.”

Managing Director of Capital Advisory Services at Enclude, Steven van Weede, said: “Enclude is delighted to have been part of another important transaction in the sector. This adds to our extensive track record in responsible exits, where we work with clients not only to maximise value, but also to ensure that the incoming shareholders are aligned with the institution’s mission, values and vision, and have the right strategic fit to secure long-term sustainability.”

Posted on March 16, 2015

Dear Clients, Partners and Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that Sustainability | Finance | Real Economies – the Company, for which Enclude acted as designer, structuring advisor and placement agent, was launched in Paris last Wednesday. The announcement was made during the annual meeting of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), Enclude’s client and the initiator of the fund. We share a few highlights below; the GABV press release can be found at this link.

  • The first close of just over $40 million attracted a group of 21 private sector investors including Church of Sweden, Skopus Impact Fund, The F.B. Heron Foundation and 15 member banks of the GABV.
  • The open-ended fund, known as SFRE and pronounced “Sapphire,” is the first global investment company created to deploy long-term capital to real economy banks with a commitment to meeting the needs of individuals and enterprises while delivering steady financial returns (
  • Research by the GABV, with assistance from Enclude, shows that real economy banks emerged from the global financial crisis in better shape than 29 “too big to fail” banks that had strayed from funding the real economy. Find the report here.
  • SFRE will invest equity and subordinated debt in small to medium size banks which in turn are investing most of their assets in individuals and enterprises in the communities in which they operate. Every dollar of equity invested into SFRE is expected to be leveraged 10 times into the real economy.
  • Prospective investee financial institutions will be identified and evaluated with a proprietary scorecard that will provide a tool for reporting on quantitative and qualitative performance. A key consideration is the institution’s impact on local entrepreneurs and the communities in which they live and operate.
  • The portfolio manager for SFRE’s first compartment is MicroVest, selected via global search for its strong track record investing in regulated financial institutions serving low income communities and in liquidity management.
  • SFRE will enable community banks around the globe to be key players in building more inclusive and sustainable local economies – financing the enterprises and entrepreneurs who create jobs, produce goods and services, ensure clean water and promote solar energy and sustainable waste management.

SFRE is poised to support the growth of real economy financial institutions through its investments and to prove the value of sustainability-focused financial institutions in the global debate about the role of banks in society.

For more information, please contact me or Steven van Weede, Enclude’s Capital Advisory Services Director at

Best regards,