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Product types

Media Development Investment Fund

Direct MDIF Loan

Finances independent media around the world providing the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies.

MDLF is a mission-driven investment fund for independent news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression. We provide low-cost capital and business know-how to help journalists in challenging environments build sustainable businesses around professional, responsible, quality journalism. Our financing and capacity support enables independent news media to compete with state- or oligarch-supported outlets and provide reliable information to people with limited or no access to objective news.  

With investments in 85 media companies in 27 countries since 1996, MDLF has provided more than $115 million in financing, including $100 million in debt and equity investments, critical to the growth of many of the developing world's pre-eminent news businesses. With a loss rate of less than 3% of the total invested, MDLF has received back $53 million in recovered principal, earning almost $37 million in interest, dividends and capital gains. MDLF has returned $16.9 million to investors.


With more than 80% of people living in countries without a free press (Freedom of the Press 2012, Freedom House), there is huge demand for independent news and information in emerging democracies. But if a news business is to provide editorially independent content over the long-term, it must be financially independent. Credit and investment capital are essential for a news outlet's growth and development; to finance essential equipment purchases such as printing presses and transmitters, as well as working capital. But in countries like Guatemala, Zimbabwe and Russia, credit and capital are either unavailable or come only with strings attached that threaten editorial independence.

With 17 years' experience in media finance and strategy, and a proven commitment to the editorial independence of clients, MDLF provides affordable debt and equity financing backed up by strategic advice and business assistance to help create enduring institutions for change.

Social Impact

All MDLF investees are independent news businesses in countries with a history of media oppression. They provide objective, quality information to people with little or no other access to reliable news and provide a platform for political and social debate.

* MDIF provided data from 1996 to June 30, 2013. Reach and sales data is from 2012

In addition to extensive financial and legal enquiries, MDLF carries out two further levels of due diligence to ensure that our financing will have a social impact. First, a thorough examination of the media and political environment of the applicant's country/region is carried out to assess the need for independent journalism. Second, a detailed analysis of the applicant's content is carried out to ensure that it observes the highest international standards of professional journalism and provides coverage of issues like human and minority rights. Only after both impact elements of the due diligence process are satisfied will an applicant be considered for financing.

Financial Performance

From 1996 to March 31, 2013, MDIF provided $128 million in affordable financing, including:

  • $112.6 million in loans and equity investments;
  • $14.9 million in technical assistance and other grants;
  • Earned over $37.6 million in interest, dividends and capital gains;Collected more than $55.6 million in recovered principal invested;
  • $0.5 million through Digital Kiosk, the secure payment service for independent media.

MDIF has invested in 93 clients and 290 projects across 32 countries, writing off less than 3% of the total loaned and invested.

MDIF has returned more than $18.5 million to investors. It ended March 31, 2013 with a portfolio of $51.8 million in outstanding loans and investments.




Transaction restrictions:

Minimum: £5000.00

Direct MDIF Loan

Impact sectors:

Free press
Impact locations:

Support with SharedImpact:

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