The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. BIO contributes to inclusive and sustainable economic growth by integrating the Goals in its decision-making processes and strategy.

Due to its specific mandate, BIO focuses on private sector growth, inclusiveness, and attention to the environment as core values and desired outcomes resulting from its interventions. This translates in a direct contribution to SDG5 and SDG10 (inclusiveness), SDG8 and SDG9 (private sector), and SDG7 and SDG12 (environment). These SDGs are linked to BIO’s Development Goals (BDGs) as explained in the Theory of Change and are thus integrated in the operations of assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of the investment projects.

More transversally, BIO contributes to the other SDGs, for example by investing in the agri-value chain (SDG2) or by steering its projects towards reducing GHG emissions (SDG13). Overall, BIO collaborates and cooperates with other institutions like Enabel or EDFI to strengthen the collective effort towards the achievement of the goals (SDG17). This report highlights the six SDGs to which BIO directly contributes.

  • SDG5

    Gender equality

    14 out of the 23 projects approved in 2022 invested in women and qualified for the 2X Challenge. Over the last three years, BIO contributed EUR 295 M to the 2X challenge – EUR 94 M in 2020, EUR 66 M in 2021 and EUR 135 M in 2022.

  • SDG7

    Affordable and clean energy

    Total electricity production supported of 4,656 GWh through direct energy projects and 1,117 GWh through indirect energy projects. BIO finances energy production to the equivalent of the annual consumption of about 16 million people, 90% of which in Africa. In 2021, the renewable energy financed by BIO avoided the emission of 660,000 tonnes of CO₂. Indirect projects avoided another 520,000 tonnes.

  • SDG8

    Decent work and economic growth

    In 2021, BIO’s funding supported 100,294 jobs through direct investments and an additional 156,734 through indirect investments. Altogether, BIO's investment projects would support more than 6.7 M indirect jobs, as estimated through JIM. Financial institutions in BIO’s direct portfolio have EUR 53.2 billion outstanding in loans, with a strong focus on MSMEs. This is a 23% net increase compared to the previous year.

  • SDG9

    Industry, innovation and infrastructure

    BIO’s portfolio includes 8 direct investments and 59 indirect investments in manufacturing companies. In 2021, the 44 financial institutions funded by BIO granted at least 147,900 loans to SMEs, of which 72,100 to small companies and 75,800 to medium-sized companies. BIO finances 59 tech-related businesses through five venture capital funds that focus on tech companies in sectors such as ICT services, agriculture, health, and education.

  • SDG10

    Reduced inequalities

    BIO’s outstanding investments in LDCs amount to EUR 122.9 M, corresponding to 22% of BIO’s total outstanding. The microfinance institutions that BIO funded directly had EUR 2.6 billion of microloans outstanding at the end of 2021, equivalent to more than 3.1 million loans to micro-entrepreneurs. In 2021, companies funded by BIO paid EUR 537.2 M in taxes to their respective local governments. Funds’ investees are the source of an extra EUR 423.4 M in tax revenue in that year.

  • SDG12

    Responsible consumption and production

    All the 2022 approved direct investments in the agricultural value chain work with international sustainability certifications such as Fairtrade, Organic, or Rainforest Alliance. In 2021, two financial institutions directly funded by BIO offered more than 2,700 green loans for a total outstanding amount of more than EUR 1.1 billion.

Data disclaimer

The data are gathered through self-reporting from clients on a selected number of indicators using a standardised template. There is a one-year lag due to the time required for clients to provide yearly figures, and for BIO to verify, consolidate and analyse these data.

Most figures are based on data reported by project companies and aggregated on a portfolio level. These are non-attributed figures and do not take BIO’s investment share into account. In other words, they capture the entire activity and development effects of the funded companies. BIO continuously aims to improve its data collection and reporting on the development effectiveness of its investments.

This publication is based on the 115 reports (out of 118 expected) submitted to BIO. Another 20 projects are not included in the reporting because they are in distress or exempt from reporting.

In 2022, BIO signed new investment commitments in 23 projects, for a total of EUR 225 M. In all newly approved projects BIO will be financially additional, and for 19 of them BIO will be non-financially additional through the reinforcement of ESG risk management strategies and policies of the investee companies, most commonly with the support of the Business Development Support Fund.