Founded in 1948, CDC is the UK’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) wholly owned by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). It is the world’s oldest DFI.
CDC’s mission is to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, to create jobs and make a lasting difference to people's lives in some of the world's poorest places.
Businesses in developing countries often struggle to find the investment they need to grow. Our job is to provide scarce and patient capital to private sector entrepreneurs in the poorer developing countries. CDC is one part of the UK’s endeavour to reduce poverty around the world.
CDC is self-funding so we have not received any new money from the tax-payer since 1995. When CDC sells its stakes in businesses a small part of the profits is used to cover our operating costs with the remainder reinvested in new enterprises.
As a long-term investor CDC typically invests for a period of 10 years. In all its activities CDC promotes responsible business practice through an Investment Code on environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
CDC evaluates its investments at the mid-point and end of the investment period. The evaluations, more than half of which are carried out by an independent third party, consider development impact through four lenses: financial success, economic impact (including jobs and taxes), ESG improvements and private sector development. The methodology is based on the IFC's DOTS system.
In 2012 CDC invested £397m in promising, under-capitalised businesses in developing countries, and made a total profit (after tax) of £223.4m.
CDC’s portfolio of investments in valued at £2.24m (year end 2012) and includes 1,250 investee businesses. Last year these companies together employed 1,109,000 people and paid US$4.2bn in local taxes.
We have recently published a new strategy that puts a focus on helping people in the poorest countries of the world. CDC will now only make new investments in Africa and South Asia where 70% of the world's poor people live. We will invest across all sectors according to local requirements.
The majority of CDC’s current investments have been made via 84 fund managers who use their specialist knowledge to manage these investments on CDC’s behalf. The new plan gives CDC scope to use more financial instruments such as by providing equity and debt directly.