SDGs

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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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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How Your Investment can Build a Sustainable Business Ecosystem

With a new norm ahead of us–one defined by global interdependence against the backdrop of climate emergencies and the COVID-19 pandemic–it’s more important than ever that conscious investors play a role in the path forward. The failure of the COP26 summit where world leaders could not put aside their own interests to act for the good of the world showed that it’s up to each individual to take action to build a resilient future for everyone.

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New impact initiative to uplift underserved women SMEs in Apac – CityWire Asia

Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange and the Australian government have launched three innovative financing solutions for women SMEs in the Asia Pacific.

On top of the initial funding of AUD 2.75m ($2.05m) from the Australian government, IIX hopes to raise AUD 18m ($24.18m) in private sector capital in two years. READ MORE

Bangladeshi-American Durreen Shahnaz now on Forbes 50 Over 50 list – Dhaka Tribune

Amid the continuing recognition for her priceless role as a financial changemaker, Durreen Shahnaz, a Bangladeshi-American investment banker-turned-entrepreneur, professor, and speaker, has now made it to the list of Forbes 50 Over 50.

The prestigious journal published what it termed the 50 Over 50: Investment list on Tuesday, highlighting the female investors and financial leaders who are leading high-growth businesses in the male-dominated spaces of Wall Street, venture capital, and impact investing. READ MORE

The Rainmakers: Meet The Women Over 50 Creating New Ways To Make And Move Money – Forbes

Born in Bangladesh and educated in the U.S., Shahnaz started her career on Wall Street in the late ’80s and saw firsthand how the financial markets can change lives—and how the vast wealth the markets were creating were not reaching the world’s women. She went on to work for microfinancier Grameen and, in 2009, founded Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a private placement platform to invest in “last-mile” female entrepreneurs around the globe. While IIX has invested $215 million across 53 countries and helped, by her estimate, millions of female small business owners, Shahnaz is most proud of a financial instrument she created on the cusp of turning 50: a women-focused bond series. READ MORE

IIX and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Launch Blended Finance Solutions to Benefit 2.5 Million Lives in Asia Pacific by 2023

SINGAPORE AND CANBERRA [September 15, 2021] – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced today the launch of three blended finance solutions to boost resilience and drive investment to small and medium-sized businesses and underserved women in the Asia-Pacific. With AUD2.75 million in funding from the Australian Government, IIX will unlock an additional AUD18 million through the catalytic use of the funding.

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EMPOWERING WOMEN-FOCUSED BUSINESSES BY TYING INVESTMENT TO IMPACT ASSESSMENT – InclusiveBusiness.net

Impact Investing Exchange (IIX) is a pioneer in impact investing, founded by Professor Durreen Shahnaz. In 2017, it launched its first Women’s Livelihood Bond, focusing on financial inclusion enterprises in Southeast Asia. Since then, the series has expanded to include new sectors in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India. READ MORE

World’s First Listed Gender Lens Impact Investing Security, IIX Women’s Livelihood Bond 1, Matures

July 6, 2021 – SINGAPORE – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)’s Women’s Livelihood BondTM 1 (WLB1), the world’s first gender lens and impact investing instrument to be listed on a stock exchange (the Singapore Exchange), matured on July 6, 2021. With all coupon payments and principal payments made on time, even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bond provided investors with an annual return of 5.65% from 2017-2021. The WLB1 is the first issuance of the US$150M Women’s Livelihood Bond Series, a series of innovative debt securities that creates sustainable livelihoods for over 3 million underserved women across the Asia-Pacific and other emerging markets. In addition to its strong financial performance, all social performance targets, including targets for increased financial inclusion and financial resilience, were met or exceeded, demonstrating the sustainability of the bond’s underlying portfolio throughout the pandemic.

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OPINION: To build sustainable ocean economies, start by investing in women – Thomson Reuters Foundation

Some 60 million women work in the fishing industry, making up nearly half that global workforce. But women often do the least recognized and lowest paid jobs – collecting fish on the beach or working side-by-side in processing plants – and have little access to capital to start or grow their own businesses.

They face discrimination, hold few management positions and are underrepresented in decision-making groups about investments for sustainable fisheries. And yet evidence shows that when we invest in women, they are empowered to conserve and manage natural resources like our oceans, which yields better results than when they are excluded. READ MORE