Last week at Building Bridges Week in Geneva, Switzerland, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), UBS Optimus Foundation, Credit Suisse Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) launched the SDG Impact Finance Initiative (SIFI) – an innovative finance program targeting to raise CHF 100+ million of catalytic funding that aims to mobilize CHF 1+ billion of private finance and investment in developing countries for the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement objectives.
Convergence applauds the four founding organizations on this critical market-leading initiative. SIFI has been designed intentionally to address the systemic challenges that impede finance and investment to SDG and Climate projects in emerging markets and frontier markets.
SIFI will provide catalytic funding in three activities:
- An Innovation Window to support innovative financial solutions through grant and seed funding,
- A Product Window to scale impact, and
- A Framework Conditions Window to contribute to improved framework conditions for impact investing in Switzerland and promote impact management practices, working closely with Swiss Sustainable Finance and the State Secretariat for International Finance.
Convergence plans to collaborate with the founding organizations to allocate their catalytic funding to proposals that produce strong development impact and mobilize investment at scale. For the past five years, Convergence and partners have implemented complementary Design Funding / Market Acceleration funding programs, and acts an independent evaluator to the United Nations Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund. The investment needs to achieve the SDGs and climate objectives are significant – and the potential of SIFI to have truly transformational impact is high.