The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO Invest) is a development financing institution backed by the Belgian state. BIO Invest has a very wide range of financial tools, including direct investment in private enterprises by way of equity or loans.

 

Eligible applicants 

BIO’s loan programme is available to local enterprises and foreign companies with a local foothold registered and active in eligible countries. The company cannot be a start-up. 

 

Funding 

The finance sought from BIO is in the range of € 1 - 5 million. 

 

Focus area

BIO's mission is to support the private sector in developing countries by providing long-term financing for private enterprises and microfinance institutions. BIO Invest prefers funding companies active in agriculture and agro-processing.

 

Target countries 

The investment takes place in a company that is registered and operational in one of the eligible countries: 

 

  • Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo (DRC & Rep), Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tomé, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia 
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam
  • Latin America: Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay

 

Terms and conditions

The shareholders’ own financing, including recent investments in the company, needs to match or exceed the funding sought from BIO. Compared to local commercial bank financing, it's loans are concessional:

 

  • maturity up to 10 years
  • grace period (interest only) up to 3 years
  • Technical Assistance (TA) grant of up to €350,000

 

The interest rate is proposed by BIO Invest on a case-by-case basis but relatively moderate on USD and EUR loans and high on local currency loans (comparable to what local banks charge).

 

Procedure

The initial procedure includes a visit to BIO’s offices in Brussels. Following a positive review of the application and your agreement to BIO’s preliminary term sheet, BIO performs a due diligence including a visit by one of its officers to your company. The loan application process until the first disbursement takes a minimum of 6 months but generally longer. If the loan application is successful, the applicant can apply for a TA grant, which may be used to strengthen the business by hiring experts, training of staff, certification, etc.

 Why work with Advance Consulting?

We have successfully facilitated BIO loan applications for several clients and have excellent relations with BIO officers. After reviewing your case to see if indeed BIO loan financing is feasible, we can assist you on the basis of a modest fixed fee to be increased by a success fee payable in case the loan application is approved. We develop or restructure your business plan, review all documentation for presentation to BIO and assist you in addressing all questions BIO raises in the course of due diligence. If indeed the loan application is successful, we subsequently prepare the application for the TA grant. Contact Peter Bleeker (Peter@advanceconsulting.nl) for more information on BIO's loan programme.