British International Investment

Equity Bank (Kenya) Ltd.

East AfricaFinancial services

Equity Bank was established in 1982 as a building society to serve the unbanked and to provide products and services that economically empower its customers. Its products include a diverse range and are targeted to specific needs including SME loans, microfinance and agribusiness loans.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We partnered with Equity Bank to increase access to financial services for small businesses and fund climate eligible projects in six countries across Eastern and Central Africa. Our investment comes alongside support from IFC, FMO, Symbiotics and ResponsAbility.

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.



Avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing access to finance to climate finance sectors (SDG 13a)



Economic enabler: The syndicated facility will enable Equity Bank to extend credit toward renewable and climate-supportive projects that will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics


A range of climate-related projects e.g. solar systems, irrigation systems, clean cookstoves, energy efficiency equipment, renewable energy, green housing with EDGE certification

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Climate: $150 million in additional financing to green projects by 2026 (BII share one-third or $50 million) [soft target]. Equity Bank's overall climate portfolio expected to more than double, from $233 million in 2021 to $661 million in 2025.

  • Duration: Five-year i.e. the tenor of the facility.
  • Depth: Expected to be varied given range of climate projects supported.

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.



Execution Risk
  • Relates to lack of: 1) Our experience of a directed tier 2 lending methodology; 2) Detailed appraisal of Equity Bank's climate projects, particularly adaptation projects.
Evidence Risk
  • Relates to challenges in tracking the impact of tier 2 capital injection on the growth of specific areas, due to nature of product.
Efficiency Risk
  • Relates to the risk of the loan being used for non-productive purposes.

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.

    June 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.

    East Africa

    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 :
    December 2021
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    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.

    Fully qualified
    Climate finance type:

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 01 $37.5m East Africa Financial services December 2020 Active

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