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Launch of SDG Impact Finance Initiative's first impact finance design portfolio focused on SDGs 4, 8, 12, and 13

The SDG Impact Finance Initiative aims to advance measurable progress in developing countries towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by mobilizing new capital through innovative finance solutions and collaboration between public and private partners.

Launched by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), UBS Optimus Foundation, Credit Suisse Foundation, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) the goal of the SDG Impact Finance initiative is to unlock capital towards the SDGs by 2030 through three critical pathways:

  1. Sparking Innovation - by kick-starting promising, impactful ideas and projects through traditional and repayable grants. This includes support for feasibility studies, proof of concept and expansion grants.
  2. Fuelling Growth and Scale - by ensuring good projects don't just survive but thrive through investing in a way that attracts more private investment. This includes first loss investments/guarantees, and at a later stage is expected to include technical assistance and payment for outcomes.
  3. Shaping the ecosystem - by stimulating the environment for impact investing in Switzerland and beyond, working with key partners. Our focus on framework conditions includes policy, tax, and regulation, as well as impact standards.

Winners announced

November 1, 2022 - SDG Impact Finance Initiative announced its first winners:

In its first proposals for funding, the SDG Impact Finance Initiative has awarded $1.5 million to seven winners after a highly competitive process. After reviewing a large field of high quality proposals that responded to the call for impact finance design ideas with the potential to make a meaningful difference on four of the UN Sustainable Goals: SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action). All proposals were assessed against pre-defined eligibility and evaluation criteria (view the list of criteria).

The proposals selected are:

Carbon Fund for Nature-based Solutions: Feasibility grant for CrossBoundary to develop a $57 million blended fund to finance projects in afforestation, reforestation and revegetation (ARR) and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) projects, starting in sub-Saharan Africa.

Carbon Impact Strategy: Proof-of-concept grant to help BlueOrchard finalize the structure for a USD 300-500 million equity fund that will invest in conservation, reforestation and afforestation projects in emerging markets.

Colibri Catalyst: Support for proof-of-concept for the design of a vehicle from Demeter Initiative that will pool concessional capital to de-risk intermediary vehicles investing in natural climate solutions and enable them to attract commercial capital.

Ghana SDG-SME Fund of Funds: Feasibility grant awarded to Ground Up Project, working through local partners, to validate and scope a $250 million fund of funds structure to mobilize domestic and international institutional investments into SDG-aligned SMEs in Ghana.

Global Finance for Education Fund: Grant awarded to the Global Schools Forum to assess the feasibility of a $35 million blended finance fund to improve access to and quality of education through impact-linked financing to education providers in India, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda.

Offgrid.Finance Pop-UP SPVs: Feasibility support to Offgrid.Finance to scale a $100 million pop-up special purpose vehicle model in Africa that raises larger investments which can be broken down into smaller, de-risked loans for SMEs to purchase cleantech and productive use assets.

Microleasing Fund: Expansion grant awarded to adOpes to support fundraising and deployment of a $100 million evergreen debt fund to provide asset financing tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers and micro enterprises in East Africa.

Visit the SDG Finance Initiative website to learn more.

    Year and Quarter
    SDG Impact Finance Initiative, 2022, Cycle 1