How does it work: examples of projects
CDC Plus has supported over 100 new projects until the end of 2018 and its portfolio continues to grow. Some of the projects supported are highlighted here.
GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry, is leading the initiative to develop a Consumer Protection Code for the off-grid solar sector with the aim of safeguarding impacts and respecting rights of consumers. Through the CDC Plus market shaping project, the Consumer Protection Principles were developed and tested, and adopted by GOGLA members. The consumer protection guidelines have received endorsements from 15 investors and other organisations, with more than 25 companies committed to trailing them.
Virunga Energy develops clean power projects which supply power to communities living in and around Virunga National Park in North Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). CDC Plus supported Virunga Energy to develop and grow its own Congolese E&S team, creating local employment opportunities and a sustainable E&S management function for the longer term.
CDC Plus supports TheBoardroom Africa to accelerate the number of women shortlisted and placed on Boards and Investment Committees across the continent. The initiative offers mentoring and coaching support, training and development, to build and sustain a pipeline of board-ready women. In addition, TheBoardroom Africa aims to be at the forefront of developments in the field of gender diversity in leadership through thought leadership and research.
In India, less than 10 per cent of students undergo any type of career counseling before choosing a career. Education and career counseling is unorganised in India, however awareness among students and parents is gradually increasing. Edubridge and CDC Plus chose address the growing demand by building a counselling app to address the needs of students and parents in the market. By the end of 2018 the website reached around 11,000 registrations with 8,600 tests taken.
Nigeria Health Management Programme
With 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. But it is also linked to some of the poorest health outcomes, accounting for 14% of maternal and 25% of new-born deaths in the world. Access to quality healthcare services is a major issue. As the public health sector suffers from chronic underinvestment, many Nigerians turn to private clinics, maternity homes and pharmacies. These health SMEs are typically run by healthcare professionals, who have never been trained to manage a business.
To address this gap, PharmAccess and Medical Credit Fund, supported by CDC Plus, developed a Health Management Program with the Enterprise Development Centre at the Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos. The certificate programme aims to build the capacity of health SMEs in areas like leadership, quality, business, finance and inventory management.
Since the start in 2018, 67 participants benefited from the programme, mostly from health SMEs serving a broad client base including lower income groups.
Technical Assistance Insights
In July 2017, in partnership with the UK Aid Impact Programme, we published some early insights on using technical assistance alongside our Catalyst investments. You can access the report here.
In November 2019 we worked with TechnoServe to understand different models of technical assistance. The resulting framework analyses the objectives, approaches, and value of TA facilities supporting agricultural investment funds in Africa. You can find the report here.
Environment & Social (E&S) learning workshops
CDC aims to add value to its portfolio by offering more than mainstream investors. The guidance the E&S team offers on environmental and social issues is integral to this, providing practical, hands-on support to help businesses achieve good environmental and social standards. With the support of CDC Plus, the E&S team is rolling out the next two year programme of capacity building workshops, helping our investees meet our high standards for E&S by implementing strategies and management systems to improve their performance, as well as promoting the integration of gender, job quality and human capital into their processes. Recently, the team has also rolled out a new series of workshops focused on social and human rights risk management. These workshops focus on Fragile and Conflict Affected States and regions with heightened contextual risks.
Green building solutions
14Trees is an innovative construction company dedicated to accelerating the provision of sustainable housing in Africa. Its green brick solution, Durabric, offers a low-carbon and environmentally-sustainable alternative to traditional woodfired burnt bricks, and its production also creates jobs in Malawi. CDC Plus is helping 14 Trees to register Durabric for carbon credits, helping it generate additional revenues and enhancing the commercial sustainability of the business.
Enabling Investment in Myanmar
Myanmar has seen notable growth and improvements in the regulatory environment, however the country continues to face challenges that inhibit pace of investment and overall business growth. Recognising these challenges, CDC Plus is pioneering a multi-year programme in Myanmar in order to improve business performance that will result in increased investment flows to growth-orientated businesses and, in turn, increased economic opportunities for the people of Myanmar.
Employing a systems lens and leveraging CDC’s role as an investor, the programme will focus on three objectives:
- Awareness, understanding, and demand for growth capital is increased among business leaders;
- Business services that improve business performance and investment readiness are aligned and utilised by SGBs;
- The number of C-suite and qualified investment professionals on the market is increased.