March 7, 2022
In the future, how should Finnfund develop its operations as a development financier and impact investor? What are the key issues it should particularly focus on? Which areas of impact and sustainability are the most relevant? When thinking about the field of development finance, what are the trends or issues that will be in the focus in the next few years?
Finnfund conducted a stakeholder survey to collect feedback and ideas from various stakeholders. The aim was to gather information, for instance, on brand image, strengths and weaknesses, as well as to ask stakeholders how they see the changes in the operational environment and what are their expectations for Finnfund.
“Stakeholders’ feedback and ideas are very important in developing Finnfund’s operations. I would like to thank all internal and external respondents,” says Jaakko Kangasniemi, CEO of Finnfund.
“We are indeed happy with the results. They show that we have developed our operations in recent years and have also been able to make it visible through our work and communication. We are expected to continue this work,” says Kangasniemi.
Finnfund’s mission well reflected in its work
Finnfund’s mission has been to build a sustainable world by investing in responsible and profitable businesses in developing countries. How well is this reflected in Finnfund’s operations according to our stakeholders? The result was quite positive averaging 4.2 on a scale of 1-5.
”This is a great result. This is why we exist. It is very important that our mission is well reflected in all our work. As a development financier and impact investor, our job is to foster sustainable development through our investments. Therefore, the combination of impact, sustainability, and profitability is at the core of our work,” says Kangasniemi.
This positive tone is present throughout the results According to the respondents, Finnfund is a good example of responsible investing (an average response by external stakeholders was 4.1 on a scale of 1-5), and it promotes ESG, environmental and social sustainability, and good governance (the average response was 4.0 by external stakeholders), and generates development impacts (average 4.0).
One of the aims was also to gather feedback on Finnfund as a financier and partner. Many of the respondents highlighted professionalism, expertise, and reliability. Many of them noted the development of different aspects of operations in recent years, and they expect this progress to continue in the future. In terms of recommendations, many of them emphasised information and knowledge sharing, and increased cooperation.
Focus on climate change and poverty reduction
We also wanted to find out, which areas of impact and sustainability are considered the most important, and, on which Finnfund should focus in the future. Climate change mitigation and adaptation took the first position while poverty reduction through job creation was the second. Improving access to clean energy, and creation of decent jobs were in the third position.
These were also the areas that Finnfund is expected to focus on in the future – in addition to prevention of deforestation and biodiversity loss, mobilising private capital for sustainable development and climate actions.
“The answers reflect the concern about climate change and the expectations that Finnfund stays as an active climate financier also in the future. In addition to climate change mitigation and adaptation, decent jobs, gender equality, and biodiversity are also considered important. These are all topics we have worked on and communicated actively, and we will certainly continue to do so in the future,” says Kirsi Pere, Communications Manager at Finnfund.
New strategy to guide our work
We also wanted to ask our stakeholders’ views on the changes in the field of development finance and Finnfund’s role in it. During autumn 2021, Finnfund worked on a new strategy that defines operational guidelines until 2025. The company mission and vision were also updated. You may read more about the strategy here.
The stakeholder survey consisted of telephone interviews and an online survey that were conducted in Finnish and English from July to October 2021. In total, 184 responses were received, of which about three quarters were from external and a quarter from internal stakeholders from both Finland and abroad. The previous stakeholder survey was conducted in 2019.
The stakeholder survey was conducted by an independent research company Innolink.
Some comments from the respondents:
- I have followed their work for a long time, but I still feel I could know better.
- I need to learn more about Finnfund’s operations and vision for investing in Africa.
- 5+ on cooperation.
- Finnfund seems to have the scale to be both Agile and effective.
- Finnfund is a unique player also internationally, and I think they have been very successful in finding a balance between commercial goals and development finance goals – this is not an easy task.
- Highly knowledgeable organization with a good spirit, innovative, creative, forward-thinking.
- Finnfund is quite progressive among development financiers. in other words, it has gone into challenging countries and taken new initiatives and invested in areas where there are no other financiers.
- Forestry, the support on advancing environmental and social capacity.
- I think Finnfund is very dynamic, they are also very commercial and impact-focused.
- It understands the requirements of various developers well and it is very approachable and accessible.
- Strong business model, they are good at creating sustainable networks and they are also good at creating sustainable investments and businesses.
Read more about the survey on this blog post Listen to your stakeholders – Finnfund
Strategy and governance – Finnfund
Stakeholders expect Finnfund to invest in climate action – Finnfund (News 26 April 2019)
Kirsi Pere, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 620 9767