All posts by xavier

The Orange Revolution: Financial Market Innovations Towards a Gender-Smart Net Zero – Skoll Centre Blog

The Problem: 

With less than a decade to address critically climate change and the other UN SDGs, the pressure is on to find innovative and inclusive solutions.  The pre-COVID US$2-3 trillion annual SDG financing gap in developing economies has increased to an estimated $4-5 trillion per year.  Given this financing gap, the global financial system is positioned to play an integral and increasingly important role in addressing the gap.  However, much of the architecture of the global financial system was built without designing for the unique needs of developing economies, designing for environmental responsibility, gender equality, or equality more broadly.

The Opportunities:

The Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement has promoted rebuilding the financial system to consider these risks better, but even deeper integration of these considerations is fundamental for post-COVID recovery and deceleration of climate change. And both of these battles are fundamentally intertwined with gender equality:

Building ‘Forward’ Better:  The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts worldwide, and the climate crisis have jointly exacerbated the regressive effects on gender inequality – as a result, the eradication of the global gender pay gap is now set back by over a century.  Women were almost twice as likely to lose their livelihoods during the pandemic, due to various factors such as disproportionate childcare burdens to labor market asymmetries.  Building forward better underscores an opportunity to redress these failures and re-structure economies that better integrate and empower women.  Closing the gender-regressive gap in the workforce could add up to US$13 trillion to global GDP by 2030.  In light of this substantial economic impact, gender equality must be central to post-COVID recovery.

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Funding Paradox: Funds raised over $12.3 billion but start-ups are facing a dearth.

While Indian startups have successfully set a new record for the best-ever fundraising quarter in the first quarter of 2022 – raising around $19 billion, startups in India saw a fall in funding by 37% quarter-on-quarter in Q2 2022. Yet on the flip side, a total of 78 Indian VCs and funds have raised over $12.3 billion.

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The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zero Gap Fund Mobilized $582M in Private Capital Towards UN Sustainable Development Goals -The Rockefeller Foundation

3rd annual report demonstrates initial impact of the Fund’s 18 million diverse, global portfolio

NEW YORK | July 18, 2022 – The Rockefeller Foundation released its annual Zero Gap Fund: 2021 State of the Portfolio report capturing the crucial role that catalytic capital plays in enabling investment solutions to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Across its seven investments to date, the Fund has mobilized $582 million in private finance toward a diverse portfolio of high-impact investment strategies. The Fund added two investments in 2021, bringing total commitments to $18 million of the $30 million fund.

The Zero Gap Fund was launched in 2019 in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It deploys patient, risk-tolerant, and flexible capital into promising, impact-driven financial strategies and mechanisms that seek to boost large-scale private investment in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Innovative financial mechanisms like those supported by the Zero Gap Fund demonstrate the power of catalytic capital to cultivate and scale impact-driven investment strategies. With the SDGs being undercut by Covid-19, climate change, and other crises, the need is both critical and urgent for investment solutions that marry impact and return and mobilize significant private capital to such strategies” said Maria Kozloski, Senior Vice President, Innovative Finance, The Rockefeller Foundation. “As the Zero Gap Fund’s portfolio matures, we are seeing encouraging results even in the face of broader instability in the market.”

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IIX Impact Report 2021

Read our latest Impact report 2021

IIX has dedicated the last thirteen years to pioneering and building an inclusive multi-stakeholder ecosystem to show the world that women and underserved communities across the Global South are more than just a demographic and defiant leaders of change with the power to transform their families, communities, and the world by being a part of the financial markets.
– Prof Durreen Shahnaz

Read our 2021 impact report that reflects our work and achievements in the year.

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Why impact investing needs to be ‘decolonized’ to help the people most affected by climate change and inequity – Business Insider

 by Durreen Shahnaz

Right before the pandemic, I spoke at an impact investing conference in New York.

As the founder and CEO of Impact Investment Exchange, I’ve seen how much actual impact impact investing can have — and how it can reinforce old, problematic norms.

As usual, I was among the few women of color invited to speak alongside an otherwise white male panel. And as is typical for women of color at these conferences, I had to endure input on my choice of attire — being asked to avoid wearing an ethnic dress (a saree in my instance) — as well as the casual dismissals of my remarks and the general fawning over “distinguished white men.”

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Durreen Shahnaz: Climate change is a feminist issue – The Peak

In her own words, the founder of Impact Investment Exchange tells us why climate change and feminism come hand in hand.

I stared at the painting. I squinted my eyes, and tilted my head, but could not figure out why the painting did not look right. I like to think of myself as a painter, but when I try to take flavours from my favorite feminist painter, Frida, I struggle.

Frida could effortlessly blend with oil, her political views, agony, and love as spirited attempts to express her own reality. I chewed on the end of my paintbrush, wondering how she did so time and again. The answer stared back at me from in between the interplay of green and blue textures.

 

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Orange Bond Initiative™ drives the first Steering Committee meeting with top leaders in gender lens investing.

To define a way forward for more to participate in building a gender-equal future.

June 9th, Singapore – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) has made a big step forward in revolutionizing gender lens investing with the launch of the Orange Bond Initiative™, the world’s first asset class by and for the Global South and the 99% as a solution to financing gender equality. Trailblazing representatives across public, private sectors, and civil society gathered at the Orange Bond Initiative™ inaugural Steering Committee meeting on 19th May, 2022 to mark the moment in history. The meeting addressed the fundamentals of practices in revolutionizing gender lens investing to further push the boundaries that build a gender-empowered financial system

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13 Traits of an Impact Leader

Operating in the impact investing or SDG industry is a challenge and leading it is certainly no easy feat.  You will have to face endless obstacles and will require all the help you can get from your ecosystem to achieve your social, environmental, and financial goals.

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Environmental Finance’s Bond Awards Recognizes IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Series for innovative use of Proceeds to Impact Women and Climate

April 8th, 2022 – Impact Investment Exchange’s (IIX) Women’s Livelihood Bond™ (WLB) Series wins Environmental Finance’s 2022 Bond Awards for Innovation. The award recognizes IIX for its use of proceeds in the latest issuance in the WLB™ Series, the US$30M WLB4Climate, which is set to impact an estimated 500,000 women and girls across South and Southeast Asia, transforming them into agents of climate action.

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A Data-Driven Solution for Impact Makers to Verify their Impact

In recent years, economies around the world have grown significantly while adopting a sustainability agenda, as evident in the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and more recently, the World Economic Forum’s Davos Manifesto 2020. With this growing momentum, both investors and enterprises have become increasingly aware of the need for impact measurement as part of long-term value creation (UNDP, 2021).

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