The Swiss Capacity Building Facility

The Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) is a Swiss technical assistance financing facility, uniting the expertise of key actors of the Swiss financial sector and of partners engaged in financial inclusion. The SCBF fosters the innovation and massive scaling-up of financial services and products centred on the financial inclusion of low-income women, vulnerable households, smallholder farmers and MSMEs in the Global South. Financial inclusion enables reaching the SDGs. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern and Eastern Africa
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural financial services
01.10.2020 - 31.12.2026
CHF  8’000’000
Background Today close to one third of adults - 1.7 billion people – still don’t have an account at a bank, at a microfinance institutions or at a mobile money provider. A disproportionate share of the unbanked are poor, and are more likely to have low education attainment. The gap between men and women in developing economies remains unchanged since 2011, at 9 percentage points. The majority of the population in the global South has no insurance cover to mitigate their multiple livelihood risks. In all SDC partner countries access to finance constitutes a strategic bottleneck for low-income people, notably low-income women and smallholder farmers to develop their economic potential as producers, labourers and consumers to achieve more resilient livelihoods. There is empirical evidence that access to client-oriented formal financial products and services offered in a responsible manner has led to increased income and employment, better health and education and empowerment of women. Increased stability of the financial sector in emerging countries is an important enabler for direct investments (for example of the Swiss impact sector) and therefore in the Swiss interest. The expertise of the Swiss financial sector is internationally renowned and constitutes the backbone of the high quality standard of the SCBF. 
Objectives Improved economic well-being of the low-income and vulnerable households, smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises. 
Target groups Low-income women and vulnerable households, smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises, vulnerable youth, refugees and migrants.
Medium-term outcomes

1.    Increased access to and use of formal client-oriented financial products and services by one million women, smallholder farmers, vulnerable households and micro, small and medium enterprises; 

2.    Increased, improved (efficient and effective) and sustainable offer of responsible and client-centric financial products and services from at least 45 partner financial institutions; 

Strengthened positioning and autonomy of SCBF through member engagement and additional core funding of at least CHF 2.8 million. 


Expected results:  

1.    Relevant new/improved/upscaled financial products, channels and services available to low-income and vulnerable households, smallholder farmers and micro, small and mediums enterprises (MSMEs), some informed by feasibility studies;

2.    Improved financial literacy of target groups;

3.    Increased awareness of members and other financial actors of the insights into sectoral best practice and lessons learnt on effectiveness of technical assistance (TA) interventions at outcome level and more engagement with SCBF;

4.    Increased investment to finance outreach and expansion of partner financial institutions

Results from previous phases:  

In phase 2, the SCBF reached 1.14 million end clients, whereof the majority (59%) were female clients. The SCBF supported 72 Technical Assistance (TA) projects in 31 countries with 48 partner financial institutions. Sub-Saharan Africa received the lion’s share of the funding and the top two product types funded were insurance and loans. In other regions, such as Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, saving products were funded with high outreach, too.

The SDC funding of CHF 8.8 million leveraged private resources at various levels:

a) member time contributions worth CHF 0.63 million;

b) Project level contributions of CHF 4.4 million including the contributions of partner financial institutions, members and third party funding at project level;

c) leveraged private impact investments of CHF 8.6 million. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Swiss Private Sector

Coordination with other projects and actors Synergies with other SDC financial inclusion projects and initiatives as well as SECO projects are explored and strengthened, at country as well as at international level, with international networks and knowledge platforms, and with relevant actors in the financial inclusion sphere. 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    8’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    6’902’068
Project phases Phase 3 01.10.2020 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.12.2014 - 31.12.2022   (Completed) Phase 1 01.12.2010 - 30.11.2016   (Completed)