British International Investment

Ancile Trade Access Program Sub-Fund

Burkina FasoSenegalAfricaFinancial services

The Trade Access Program directly funds small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trade intermediaries, such as agritechs, fintechs and alternative trade financiers. Their technological and digital solutions will help British International Investment reach much smaller borrowers who are active members of local supply chains. This first-of-its-kind programme will help to increase urgently needed liquidity to SMEs and target trade intermediaries in Africa.

The fund is a vehicle is managed by INOKS Capital specifically for British International Investment. It was launched in April 2022 with an initial capital of $25 million.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

Our commitment of $25 million to INOKS as the first fund manager of the Trade Access programme will increase the volume of trade finance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa by up to $40 million per annum. This will enable supported SMEs to sustain economic opportunities and access to goods and services for their customers, suppliers and employees.

In December 2022, we made an additional commitment of $25 million to INOKS to support food security in Africa. This additional commitment will improve access to agricultural inputs for the planting season to increase crop yields and land productivity.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.



Increase the volume of SME trade finance in Africa by up to $40 million per annum and $25 million in additional trade volumes per annum with the food security-related investment.


Primary Secondary

We committed $25 million (and an additional $25 million) to extend more trade credit and working capital to SMEs directly and via alternative trade finance providers. This will enable SMEs to import or export in larger volumes and sustain and potentially increase business operations, market output and revenues, as well as agricultural productivity. This will ultimately lead to job retention or creation and the continued or increased availability of more or better goods in the market for customers.

The facility intends to build a track record of successfully serving SMEs with trade credit through non-bank channels using high-volume, low-ticket size business models.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees and suppliers


Expected to include both low-skilled (e.g. agricultural workers and suppliers) and semi- /high-skilled (e.g. for IT importers) employees and employees of suppliers, with an a target to reach female-owned and led SMEs.



Expected to include both middle/higher income (e.g. IT equipment) as well as mass market (e.g. medical consumables).

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

The $25 million facility will be deployed across 15-30 trading SMEs (11 more with the additional capital), directly or indirectly, enabling up to $40 million in additional SME trade per year which are anticipated to jointly employ 750-1,500 workers.

  • Duration: Trade Access will be a revolving facility and the impact will last for as long as the facility remains in existence.
  • Depth: The World Bank adjusted its economic growth projections for Africa from 2.4 per cent in 2019 to -2.1 to -5.1 per cent in 2020. As a result, impact is expected to be deeper in a context where the situation has worsened (i.e. higher rates of unemployment and lower access to goods). SMEs are thought to be disproportionally affected due to their vulnerability to demand and supply shocks.


  • Financial additionality: Commercial funding for trade finance in Africa is limited, particularly for SMEs. This has been exacerbated under the current COVID-19 context.
  • Value additionality: Through setting targets for reaching the most vulnerable countries in Africa as well as by having targets for gender and climate-positive trades


Evidence Risk
  • Visibility of impact on ultimate beneficiaries depends on the fund manager's ability to provide data on SMEs and alternative trade finance providers. This risk is mitigated as INOKS has sophisticated impact management systems that give us confidence in the impact reporting data we receive.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

The fund manager has a well-established approach to environmental and social management and we will continue to support and monitor its approach as the portfolio grows.

Environmental and social risk


Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    March 2022
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :
    Fund Manager:
    INOKS Capital SA

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    Partially qualified
    Climate finance type:
    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    Partially qualified

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Ancile – Food Security (FS) Facility Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal West Africa Financial services December 2022 Active
Ancile – Trade Access (TA) Facility Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Togo Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Financial services April 2022 Active

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