Publication on mezzanine finance for SMEs in emerging markets


How can more SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) in emerging markets receive suitable long term financing? This question is high on the agendas of development institutions around the world. Local banks and private equity funds have challenges to make their model work for smaller transaction sizes, especially for small cap SMEs – the segment requiring financing below USD 2m – due to relatively high transaction costs and high failure rates.

Mezzanine financing, which blends elements of debt and equity into one financing product, aims to provide long-term risk financing to SMEs in structures that try to capture upside and offer downside protection for the fund manager, while achieving higher degrees of operational efficiency.

Rebel publication on the use and possibilities of mezzanine for SMEs
The Dutch Good Growth Fund, a fund of the Dutch government that provides finance to SMEs in emerging markets, commissioned Rebel to conduct a study on mezzanine finance to SMEs in emerging countries. The publication 'New perspectives on financing small cap SMEs in emerging markets: the case for mezzanine finance' provides an overview of the mezzanine finance sector including its main players. It takes an in-depth look at a number of leading SME investment fund managers, discusses key trends and provides an agenda to stimulate further growth of the small cap mezzanine asset class.

The publication, produced with involvement from a high profile editorial board - consisting a.o. of former FMO CEO Michael Barth, former World Bank / IFC Chief Investment Officer Peter Tropper and experts from Triple Jump - is the first of its kind and represents a first step into building small cap SME mezzanine finance as an asset class on its own. It is met with high interest from the sector, and was presented at a number of leading impact investing seminars and forums, a.o. by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and the IFC SME finance forum in Rome.

Rebel impact investing
Rebel has been a front-runner in emerging markets SME finance and impact investing. Our InReturn East Africa Fund, which was managed from Nairobi and started operations in 2008, was one of the first SME investment funds of its kind. This makes Rebel one of the few financial advisory firms with first-hand experience in managing its own impact investment fund. In recent years we continued to use our practical experience with SME finance and impact investing in advising organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), The World Bank, Oxfam Novib, The Dutch ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs, Dutch Development Bank FMO, KPMG International Development Advisory Services (KPMG IDAS), and Dutch social business incubator ENVIU, in the fields of fund strategy and design, fund management, sector studies and policy advisory.

For more information, please contact:
- Eelco Benink (+31 6 81430800 or
- Rob Winters (+31 6 24548674 or
- Wout Korving (+31 6 53721681 or