Through our learnings we have experienced first hand the best techniques to help others- whether that be engaging with global and regional players, country governments, and the like.

  • GBF’s founding premise still holds: companies that engage large numbers of the poor can be a good way to improve the lives of underserved, hard-to-reach populations.
  • Blending is vital to several dimensions of this work. Combining patient investment capital with technical assistance can make both more effective. 
  • Local proximity to the client is important to maintain the close support needed for a “capital plus” approach with such enterprises.
  • Well positioned Technical Assistance can be catalytic for a portfolio company with a wide range of challenges
  • The  most effective interventions are often slow, with gradual disbursement against progress, milestones, and frequent adaptation over a long period of time. 
  • For high-impact SMEs, corporate governance and human capacity are the most challenging core areas in dire need of support. This is mainly because most of these businesses are family-owned and run.
  • Mezzanine investment products can be very helpful for growth-stage SMEs, especially ones with limited access to traditional funding sources.
  • Funders concerned with development should address some of the constraints limiting other forms of blending, such as expanded and affordable guarantees.
  • There are great opportunities to increase social impact by building on extensive business supply chains, such as community health centers or gender empowerment initiatives. 
  • Social reporting can be limited to items that are of value to the SMEs and practical to collect, while still meeting funders’ needs.