Medical Credit Fund’s (MCF) written evidence for The International Development Committee’s (IDC) inquiry into the impact of British Investment International (BII)

Medical Credit Fund is pleased to submit this written evidence highlighting the impact of BII’s funding in response to the IDC’s inquiry into UK’s strategy towards development finance institutions.


Medical Credit Fund (MCF) is dedicated to providing loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the health sector in Africa. MCF combines loans with technical assistance to support primary healthcare providers to improve their quality of services. BII has been a lender to Medical Credit Fund since 2017 and has renewed its commitment in December 2021. Through its investments, BII has been instrumental in MCF’s achievements. We are convinced that BII plays a critical role in accomplishing the UK’s development commitments to achieve the global goals for sustainable development, and ensuring foreign aid is being spent efficiently and effectively. 


The following evidence is based on MCF’s experiences with BII over the past years.


  1. Medical Credit Fund – Objectives and Impact

Around 50% of all healthcare services in sub-Saharan Africa are delivered by the private healthcare sector, and with growing populations the demand for quality healthcare services has increased. Yet, most of the clinics and pharmacies providing this care are small business run by a doctor or a nurse. These facilities have difficulty accessing financing to improve their quality of care from banks. MCF seeks to bridge this gap by providing financing and technical assistance so that healthcare providers can increase their capacity and serve more customers better, with a focus on small healthcare providers serving loan income groups. It thereby seeks to contribute to stronger health systems and better job perspectives for medical professionals. Since its inception in 2009, MCF has provided over 8,000 loans worth EUR 150 million to more than 2,000 SMEs in Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. It has successfully served the smaller end of the small and medium enterprise sector.


BII is a member of the 2X Challenge, which aims to advance opportunities for women through enterprise support, leadership and career progression, quality employment, and products/services that enhance women’s economic participation. BII has identified MCF as eligible to be recognized as a ‘2X investment’, both because MCF focuses on improving the lives, productivity and businesses of women through targeted lending to female health entrepreneurs, and because women’s access to healthcare is addressed by targeting gender-smart businesses (health clinics that disproportionately benefit women’s health and tackle gaps in access to healthcare for women). Indeed, 75% of the patients reached are women and children.


  1. BII: Investor in MCF

BII has played a crucial role in the development and growth of the Medical Credit Fund. It has been the anchor investor in MCF’s first fund with an investment of USD 10 million in 2017 and in the recent initial funding round of Medical Credit Fund 2. Its funding has been truly catalytic and has allowed MCF to mobilise a total of EUR 75 million in funding.

But for MCF the value of BII’s partnership stretches far beyond its funding. The BII team has played a prominent role in making MCF succeed through connecting us to other investors, providing advisory support, but also by taking the lead in the due diligence and contracting during our last funding round.


  1. BII: Technical Assistance Funding

Since 2017, we have also experienced BII’s commitment to investing in our technical assistance program, supporting MCF customers in 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. 


Customers’ Quality Improvement Journey

Together with its strategic partner PharmAccess Foundation, MCF provides technical assistance to its borrowers towards business and quality improvement. The program uses the internationally recognized SafeCare standards and comprises quality assessments, trainings, webinars and support calls and visits. BII has supported the execution of the program and digital innovations to enhance its reach. Almost 700 healthcare providers have benefited from this support.



The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on African health systems. Teams at BII immediately knew they had to find a way to address the issue of patient access to healthcare as quickly and effectively as possible. While the virus spread at the start of the year, the full impact was unknown and supporting healthcare facilities to prepare was key. In total, BII has funded eight projects across Africa in partnership with MCF in response to the pandemic. Through these projects, over 2,500 healthcare professionals have been trained, more than 2,000 clinicians and healthcare professionals have been protected with personal protective equipment (PPE), and it is estimated that more than 8,500 patients per day were reached through the supported clinics.

One of the projects in Nigeria supported a chain of clinics to develop remote access tools for patients. These included e-pharmacy and telemedicine platforms, enabling remote access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Another project focused on strengthening the COVID-19 response in Liberia, by supporting one of MCF’s customers to take a leading role in the country in training more than 85 clinics in case management and infection control. BII also helped address the shortage of PPE and essential medication which was exacerbating the pandemic by assisting the clinic to build and manage a stock of PPE and medication, which has been distributed across Liberia.