Cordaid (Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid) is a Dutch development agency operating worldwide. Cordaid fights poverty and exclusion in fragile states and areas of conflict and extreme inequality. The organization has an annual budget of approximately 150 million Euros (2013).
Investing is part of the core business of Cordaid and is of strategic impartance for Cordaid. The Business Unit (BU) Investments is Cordaid’s Fund Management organisation.Cordaid's investment portfolio is managed by an Investment team of 13 persons headed by the Director Investments.
The investment unit was established in 1997 as part of Cordaid’s strategy to invest. In the last few years, the unit has transformed into a Business Unit, a professional organisation that manages Cordaid investment funds. Key characteristics of Cordaid investment funds are that these operate in a synergetic way with Cordaid’s development programmes, providing technical assistance and advice mainly funded by private and public donors. Cordaid combines the unique ability to finance investees with grants, equity and debt instruments in selected countries across three continents.
BU Investments emphasises Cordaid’s focus to support and cooperate with investees that have a strong development orientation, which means they focus on deprived and vulnerable groups, and/or want to work in hard-to-reach and underserved areas. This means that within BU Investments, the investees take the socio-environmental context of their clients as a starting point. The design and delivery of their services explicitly integrate social (including gender, environmental and financial dimensions in order to improve the economic and social conditions of clients. This implies that there is integration and balancing of financial and social returns.
Overall, as of December 2013 with EUR 83 million in assets BU Investments predominantly invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and Small and Medium Enterprises Funds with a ‘social mission’ and serves over 90 nvestees worldwide.
Cordaid uses IRIS as a reference guide in the design of its own social performance assessment tool for microfinance, in monitoring both the social and finanical performance and in reporting to internal and external stakeholders