Interview with Veerle Berbers, a Director of the Board of SocialAlpha, AlphaMundi's impact fund.

Finding the sweet spot in the combination of public and commercial capital

Interview with Veerle Berbers (Alpha Mundi's SocialAlpha-Bastion Fund) by Carolina Zishiri and Andrew Kaiser-Tedesco

Can you introduce yourself and explain a bit about what you do?

I am Veerle Berbers and I am on the Board of AlphaMundi Group's SocialAlpha-Bastion Fund. AlphaMundi is an investment advisory firm dedicated to impact investing with a dual mission to reduce poverty and preserve the environment in developing countries. AlphaMundi invests catalytic financing in market-based solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

The Bastion Fund finances the national or cross-border scale up of viable and innovative social businesses in developing countries by providing debt capital, sometimes coupled with technical assistance from AlphaMundi Foundation. While there is increasing purchasing power at the base of the pyramid, there is a shortage of local financial services for early-stage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that seek to serve these consumers. We identify emerging and established market leaders across sectors in East Africa and Latin America with annual sales of USD 500K to USD 10M, and build up fund exposure progressively as they achieve financial and impact milestones.

We focus on SMEs that have a need for debt, with ticket sizes ranging from two hundred thousand to two million dollars. Portfolio companies are typically at an inflection point where AlphaMundi’s support on information/reporting systems, operational and financial risk management, and value chain consistency can deliver substantial added value to them and the fund, helping de-risk the companies for commercial capital.

And are you limited to certain sectors?

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