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Financial Inclusion

GLS AI – Microfinance Fund

Since 2015, FS Impact Finance has been managing the GLS Alternative Investments – Microfinance Fund (EUR 230 million as of 30/04/2024). The main objective of the fund is to improve financial access for people and small entrepreneurs in emerging markets through microfinance institutions, so financial inclusion is at the heart of the fund’s mission.

FS Impact Finance provides the entire range of fund management services, from investment-, risk-, portfolio-, and transaction management to FX/hedging, compliance, and anti-money laundering.


To date, 1.4 billion people worldwide are still excluded from the formal financial sector. Because they lack access to basic financial services like bank accounts or loans, their options for economic development remain very limited. The lack of financial access is not only a pure financial issue but of course has implications for communities and/or societies.


Microfinance institutions make small loans and other financial services accessible to people and small microenterprises. The GLS AI – Microfinance Fund primarily invests in these institutions that – besides offering basic financial products – aim to make a strong social impact.


The fund contributes considerably to financial inclusion in emerging markets. Its comparatively large portfolio share in Africa, along with its strategy to target predominantly medium-sized and smaller microfinance institutions, makes it stand out. The median loan size to final borrowers of less than 2.000 € per client clearly demonstrates that the fund is not targeting small to medium-sized corporations but aims for the unbanked clientele. Since its inception, the fund has disbursed 319 loans amounting to a total of over 490 million EUR (as of 01.07.2024).

From an investor’s perspective, the fund excels through its transparency, e.g., by fully disclosing the calculation of its number of end borrowers and their respective loan sizes.

The GLS AI – Microfinance Fund is classified as Article 9 under SFDR and meets GLS Bank’s high environmental and social standards. It adheres to positive criteria like the strengthening of end borrowers’ financial resilience and financial access for women, as well as strict exclusion criteria (consideration of IFC exclusion list; exclusion of MFIs who don’t commit to client protection / comply with internationally recognized Human Rights Standards, or who operate in locally oversaturated markets).

Contributing to a number of social impact objectives, the fund has repeatedly been awarded the LuxFlag label and was recognized with the “ECOreporter Sustainability Label” 2023 and 2024.

end borrowers in 36 countries
% female borrowers
% rural borrowers
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Latin America
  • Cash / other positions

Monthly Reports

06/2024: Drei neue Kredite in Südosteuropa vergeben

Im Juni wurden drei neue Kredite in der Höhe von…

05/2024: Kredite über 4,75 Millionen Euro vergeben

Im Mai wurden drei neue Kredite in der Höhe von…

04/2024: 3 neue Kredite über 5 Millionen Euro vergeben

Im April wurden drei neue Kredite in der Höhe von…

03/2024: Hohe Investitionsquote, geringe Fälligkeiten

Im März wurden keine neuen Kredite ausgereicht. Grund dafür waren…

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Get in touch!

Torsten Becker

Torsten Becker

Senior Portfolio Manager

Ralf BurmeisterRalf Burmeister

Ralf Burmeister

Senior Portfolio Manager

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