This report, launched today, is the main output of Business Fights Poverty’s Investing for Impact Challenge. We are hosting a roundtable event with contributors, partners and other interested stakeholders at BFP’s event in New York to mark the occasion and discuss the central themes of the report.
The report asks the question: “How can we collaborate to unlock investment to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals in challenging places?” and is designed to serve as a basis for discussion for the spectrum of stakeholders involved in the investment space around the SDGs. For investors, it shares best practice from a range of investments, for investees it shows the types of things that attract financiers and for the wider community it demonstrates where support is needed to unlock investment to deliver the SDGs in more challenging places.
The Investing for Impact Challenge was started in recognition that the UN’s Global Goals cannot be financed by the public sector alone. Based on current levels of investment, it is estimated that achieving the SDGs will require an additional $2.5 trillion a year.
While this is an immense challenge, it is also an extraordinary opportunity, particularly for the private sector. According to a 2017 report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, the Goals open up a market opportunity of $12 trillion – and that’s only looking at four areas of food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, health and well-being.
Furthermore, according to the OECD there is an estimated $37 trillion of capital tied up in the private sector available for investment in development.
The question is, how do we unlock that existing capital to take advantage of the opportunity that the SDGs present? We believe strongly that collaboration between different types of organisations from the private sector, governments, multilateral organisations, social enterprises and civil society is the best chance that we have in doing this and in turn making the Goals become a reality.
This report showcases a selection of exciting and innovative partnerships and funding models that have led to successful investments, in order to share lessons with investors, beneficiaries and the development community.
The case studies included in the report demonstrate that the catalysts that have been highlighted during the Challenge process through a series of meetings, roundtable discussions, workshops and conferences. These catalysts – partnerships, risk mitigation and readiness – are all important parts of well-designed projects and investments. In many cases it is, in fact, a combination of all three that are intertwined and collectively make up the ingredients for success.
There is a recognition that the topic of this report is very broad and as such more focused work would be helpful. As a next step, BFP will explore options to continue the dialogue with partners around the three catalysts with a focus on identifying additional risk mitigation models that can help unlock investment to deliver the SDGs in challenging places. There will be opportunities for involvement for all organizations within the BFP community.