co-financing opportunity

Partnerships for impact with the Business Partnership Facility

A chance for IBISA to test its innovative insurance product in Niger, thanks to BPF Photo: Réseau Billital Maroobé

A chance for IBISA to test its innovative insurance product in Niger, thanks to BPF Photo: Réseau Billital Maroobé

The 10th edition of the Business Partnership Facility (BPF) has been launched! Learn more on how solid partnerships can fuel innovative projects to generate significant impact and business opportunities in developing markets.

The BPF co-finances innovative and impactful partnerships between, on one side Luxembourg and EU companies, and on the other side entities in developing markets that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The projects can focus on transferring know-how and technologies, demonstrating the feasibility of a new solution or piloting it on the market. Here is how IBISA, a Luxembourgish fintech, leveraged the BPF to introduce its services and provide valuable support to farmers in Senegal.

An impactful solution for smallholder farmers facing climate-change risks

Every day, hundreds of thousands of farmers have their incomes disrupted by extreme weather as a result of climate change, particularly in low and middle income countries. Livelihoods, as well as global food sources remain under constant threat.

IBISA has created an innovative insurance solution conceived to solve the uninsurability of smallholder farmers. Based on weather risks, the company designs tailor-made index-based insurance products for specific smallholders. IBISA’s clients, local insurance companies, onboard farmers on their B2B platform. When a threshold is reached, they can assess satellite data to determine the damage and initiate a digitalised, rapid and cost-effective claim process. Imagine a farmer whose milk production is affected by a particularly heavy heat distress – with IBISA, his income and livelihood are secured.

The opportunity to create a valuable partnership on a new market

Thanks to the BPF’s support, back in 2019, IBISA sealed a new partnership in Niger with Réseau Billital Maroobé (RBM), an NGO representing breeders in West Africa.

“It was a great opportunity to test our product in real life conditions in a first African market and to learn lessons for growing in the region” says Maria Mateo, CEO and co-founder of IBISA. “Due to regulatory reasons and lack of insurance partners there, the product could not be marketed in Niger, but this pilot phase triggered a domino effect. As trust had been established, we decided to bring our partnership to Senegal. As a result, since 2022, 1,000 Senegalese breeders have benefited from IBISA’s insurance solution. We are also expanding to Ghana with a new partner. Furthermore, the World Food Programme and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have showed interest in IBISA’s experience. Without the BPF’s support, we would not have had the chance to take this first step.”

IBISA is now employing 12 staff and provides services to 254,000 smallholder farmers in India, the Philippines and Senegal. The company is raising a second investment round for its expansion.

Since its launch in 2016, the BPF has supported 39 projects in 19 countries. For this new edition, companies can apply for a co-financing grant of up to EUR 200,000 until October 31, 2023.

The BPF is initiated and financed by the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and implemented by LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, Luxinnovation and the Ministry of the Economy.

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