​​EFSE Holds ESG Summit in Sarajevo

Luxembourg and Sarajevo, September 20, 2023: “Investing for the Common Good: ESG Risks to Rewards”, the day-long summit hosted by the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) concluded today, providing fresh impetus in a time when sustainable practices and responsible investments are at the forefront of global discussions. The summit’s central theme was the critical need for local economies, specifically in the Western Balkans, to integrate sustainability, especially for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to operate according to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. Such adherence is crucial both for a sustainable future and to stay competitive at the regional, European, and global levels. 

​Giuseppe Zammarchi of UniCredit, Italy, captured the essence in his keynote, “Evolution of ESG – from optional to essential”, articulating the sharpened focus on sustainability, both strategically and operationally. 

​With over 250 industry leaders attending, the summit drew top figures from regional financial institutions, the European Commission, KfW Development Bank, and BMZ (the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development). Their collective aim was to forge innovative paths towards sustainability and societal progress. 

​Key topics included EFSE's pivotal role in sustainable finance's future, the success of ESG initiatives in the Western Balkans, and fostering collaboration for enhanced ESG management and evolving regulations. Two enlightening panel discussions featuring prominent representatives of local and regional institutions and moderated by Finance in Motion, addressed the pressing challenges: both “Burden or Opportunity? ESG's Impact in Western Balkans” and “Aligning Profit and Environmental Stewardship in the Sustainable Agricultural Sector” illuminated the path forward into a competitive but ultimately more rewarding reality. 

​EFSE Board Chairperson Dr. Klaus Müller said: “Today’s summit is more than just an event; it’s our collective commitment towards a sustainable future. We, at EFSE, believe that enabling entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium enterprises to integrate ESG principles into their core strategies and operations from the outset is not merely a choice, but a necessity. As economies evolve, so must approaches to business and societal impact. Finance in Motion's role as an advisor to EFSE has been instrumental, guiding strategies and fostering actionable outcomes that advance the Fund’s mission. Leveraging the support of our lending partners, we're not only envisioning a better future – we’re playing an active role in helping to create it.” 

About EFSE  
An impact investment fund established in 2005, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood Region by investing in the success of micro and small enterprises as well as improved living conditions for private households. As access to financial services is key to developing this segment, EFSE focuses on helping local financial sectors strengthen their ability to provide responsible financing for this target group. Alongside its investment activities through local partners, EFSE multiplies its impact through the EFSE Development Facility, which provides technical assistance, training, and other nonfinancial support to entrepreneurs and institutions. The fund’s impact management system, through its advisor Finance in Motion, underwent an independent verification by impact auditor BlueMark affirming strong Operating Principles for Impact Management alignment in 2021.  

​EFSE was initiated by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. As the first public-private partnership of its kind, EFSE draws its capital from donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private institutional investors.   

​Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, serves as EFSE’s advisor and Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A., Luxembourg, acts as manager.   

​For more information on the European Fund for Southeast Europe, please visit: www.efse.lu    

​For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit: www.finance-in-motion.com 

Media contact EFSE 
Anne Johnson 
Marketing & Communications 
Email: press@efse.lu 
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-742 ​ 



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