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Finance Track 2: Building a Green Impact Investing Network for The Mediterranean

How can we foster a Green Impact Investing Network in the Mediterranean?


Key note speakers:

  • Nicola Di Pietrantonio, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negociations at the European Commission, 
  • Justine Palermo, Investment Officer at Inpulse,  
  • Aitor Garro, Tax incentives Responsible at ZABALA INNOVATION CONSULTING, S.A, 
  • Guianluca Gasparini, Project Department SEFEA Consulting

20th October 2016, 10.30am – 12.30pm


Increased cooperation between financing institutions in the Mediterranean will help boost access to finance for green entrepreneurs. This session, organised by SCP/RAC and FEBEA focused on defining the main services offered to improve networking and cooperation between financing institutions in the Mediterranean.

An open discussion enabled participants to gain an insight into how to improve the Green Impact Investing Network learning from best practices and experiences from speakers who were invited to join the session. After the main discussion, participants shared inputs and gave contributions about how to improve the quality of services offered by the GIIN. (more information in this presentation).



What examples are there of best practices and experiences of green impact investing in the Mediterranean?


Nicola Di Pietrantonio, Project Manager at the European Commission for the SwitchMed programme, introduced the session underlining how important it is not only to link up with credit lines through local banks in the Mediterranean but private investors, now that SwitchMed has a pool of green entrepreneurs. He highlighted examples of how the European Commission and the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations are trying to foster finance in the Mediterranean while working with European Financial Institutions (EBRD, EIB, KfW and AFD etc.) through the Neighbourhood Investment Platform by providing lines of credit through financial intermediaries in neighbouring countries (e.g. SANAF, SUNREF funds). 

An Impact Investing Network: a Triple Bottom Line approach

Co-creators Claudia Pani, Project Manager SwitchMed – Green Entrepreneurship at SCP/RAC, and Daniel Sorrosal Villar, Policy and Advocacy Manager at FEBEA, introduced the session.

Key note speakers then gave examples of impact investing in the Mediterranean, including:

  • Aitor Garro, Tax incentives Responsible at ZABALA INNOVATION CONSULTING, S.A

Mr Aitor Garro presented a previous EU funded programme that was open to entrepreneurs from EU member states called the Network for Eco-Innovation Investment (INNEON), and came to a close this year. INNEON aimed to create a network of investors and financiers and identify, support and coach eco-innovation entrepreneurs and SMEs in order to enble them to access finance and be ‘investor-ready’. This included matching entrepreneurs and investors via a web platform and other networking conferences. You can find Aitor's presentation here.

  • Justine Palermo, Investment Officer at Inpulse

Justine Palermo presented the CoopMed instrument (a FEBEA initiative) that is managed by Inpulse, an impact driven fund manager that aims to connect responsible investors with ultimate beneficiaires by supporting socially committed financial intermediaires.

“Built on the succesful track-record of CoopEst, CoopMed develops social finance in the MENA region. The Fund supports the creation of employment and sustainable economic activities by the civil society, and promotes green and innovative initiatives enhancing social entrepreneurship.  CoopMed offers subordinated and senior loans to MFIs, local banks and mutual companies.  CoopMed applies a strong social performance policy with the support of a dedicated technical assistance facility.?

CoopMed’s collaborates with:

Banks: operational partnerships dedicated line of credit to finance entrepreneurship and green initiatives combined with technical assistance, technical partnerships - hedging solutions through local banks to finance MFIs, and long term partnerships -matchmaking and exchanges between CoopMed investors (ethical banks, cooperative banks) and financial institutions in the MENA region.

Micro Finance Institutions: line of finance for entrepreneurship and green initiatives, subordinated or senior debt combined with technical assistance e.g. with the MFIs INMAA in Morocco, where CoopMed has channeled € 500,000 with a dedicated line of senior debt to finance the development of the cooperative sector.

CoopMed also incoprorates an impact measurement tool to monitor investments in the MENA region and the funds channeled through financial intemediaires, local banks and MFIs.

you can have more inforlmation about Justine's presentation here.

  • Guianluca Gasparini, Project Department SEFEA Consulting

Guianluca presented an overview of the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks and Financiers (FEBEA), and international non profit association with the goal of developing ethical and solidarity-based finance in Europe. The founding 6 financial institutions that created FEBEA has now grown to 26 members spanning 14 European countries. The members range from large banking institutions with a strong commitment to the support of the social economy; ethical banking institutions; finance companies working for ethical finance and microfinance. You can find his presentation here.

The values of FEBEA are underpinned in the FEBEA Ethical Charter and collectively the cummulative total assets within the remit of FEBEA is about 32 billion euros with over 670,00’0 clients Europe wide. FEBEA’s mission is about organic growth (so profitability is not necessarily the main incentive) and supporting ethical, green, social, and cooperative investments. Other FEBEA initiatives include SEFEA, CoopMed, Fefisol and CoopEst. You can find here FEBEA's presentation.




How can we contribute to developing a global vision for the GIIN services?

The following part of the session was dedicated to group work, in order to discuss and collect new elements regarding the Green Impact Investing Netowrk study (GIIN), an SCP/RAC and SwitchMed initiatve. The discussion was held in order to feed the GIIN study and take it to the next stage.

Q&A: what makes FEBEA ethical in its nature?

A participant from Turkey was interested to know what makes FEBEA ethical in its nature and distinguishes the members from other financial institutions. Representatives fom FEBEA underlined that as an entity, FEBEA is not positioned within large financial markets but within social markets (meaning a more moderate return to investors) nevertheless ensuring a high social return on investment, achieving a sustainable organic growth rate of around 10% per year. FEBEA often provides finance to atypical intiatives including investment in organic farms or renewable energy cooperatives.

Developing the Green Impact Investing Network


From this session, all participants were able to take away new elements on how to develop a network for green impact investment based on best practices and experiences. Now SCP/RAC and the SwitchMed Programme team will use contributions from the session to continue to develop of the Green Impact Investing Network (GIIN) study.