Toronto, May 5, 2020 – Today, Convergence announced it has expanded the scope of its Indo-Pacific Design Funding Window, by introducing gender equality as a specific focus area.
The Design Funding program awards grants to design blended finance solutions that attract private capital to global development at scale.
In addition to supporting vehicles focused on sustainable and resilient infrastructure, Convergence will look to award proof of concept funding (up to US$350,000 in repayable grants) or feasibility study funding (up to US$200,000) to vehicles that aim to make a significant contribution to gender equality outcomes for women and girls. This could be by directly benefiting women and girls (for example, see their health improved) and/or improved access to, and control over, resources (for example, increased access to capital). With this change, Convergence seeks to increase the number of blended transactions in the market and drive large volumes of private capital towards SDG 5–Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
“Integrating a gender lens throughout our market acceleration work has been an ongoing commitment. We are making it a part of our outreach, selection and evaluation measures, and how we monitor the activities of our grantees. We look forward to supporting more vehicles like the Women’s World Banking Capital Partners Fund II that explicitly focuses on SDG 5,” says Adhiti Gupta, Manager, Market Acceleration and Design Funding at Convergence.
Funded by The Government of Australia, The Indo-Pacific Design Funding Window launched in November 2019. Convergence’s Design Funding program is instrumental for developing the blended finance market, especially in frontier markets and nascent sectors. Blended finance transactions can be complex, time intensive, and costly to structure and launch. Design funding operates as a market acceleration tool, by offering critical support at the early stage to teams with viable investment products who otherwise lack the resources to get to market. The resulting transactions, and the lessons propagated, contribute to building the market and ultimately catalyzing additional investment towards the SDGs.
With the current global health crisis having a disproportionate impact on women, we have to do more to ensure we are building stronger, more resilient ecosystems. The Indo-Pacific Design Funding Window aims to serve as a catalyst for gender-focused blended finance transactions in the region.
In the upcoming application cycle, in light of the ongoing pandemic, Convergence hopes to attract proof of concept applications that are quickly scalable and address economic reconstruction and resilience within the scope of the Indo-Pacific Design Funding Window.
The Indo-Pacific Design Funding Window is currently accepting applications. The next application deadline is August 10.
Convergence is the global network for blended finance. On top of market acceleration through its Design Funding program, Convergence generates blended finance data, intelligence, and deal flow to increase private sector investment in developing countries. Convergence’s global membership includes over 200 public, private, and philanthropic investors as well as sponsors of transactions and funds. To learn more, visit www.convergence.finance.
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