March 24

Press Release: Swiss Public-Private Partnership Opens Doors to Projects Mobilizing Investment for the SDGs

    • SDG Impact Finance Initiative calls for proposals focusing on education, jobs, climate and responsible consumption/production
    • Global blended finance network Convergence kicks off first round of proposals, seeking innovative financial solutions in support of the SDGs
    • SDG Impact Finance Initiative aims to mobilize up to 1 billion Swiss francs in private capital by 2030 for innovative, impact finance projects

    Zurich, Bern, and Toronto, March 22, 2022 – The SDG Impact Finance Initiative, a Swiss public-private partnership, announced its first call for proposals, preparing to award grants for innovative impact finance solutions that will mobilize private capital for sustainable development in emerging and frontier markets.

    The launch comes three months after Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), UBS Optimus Foundation, Credit Suisse Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) launched the Initiative, aiming to mobilize up to one billion Swiss francs in private capital by 2030 to advance measurable impact in developing countries.

    In the first major step forward, the SDG Impact Finance Initiative partnered with the global blended finance network Convergence to open a Design Funding Window to receive and evaluate proposals. This first call for proposals will focus on solutions that target SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action). The second call, set for later in 2022, will expand to other SDGs.

    The need to mobilize private sector capital in support of the 17 United Nations SDGs has never been more urgent. The SDG investment gap continues to grow, climate action appears to be stalling, and the negative long-range effects of COVID-19 disproportionately hurt the countries and populations that can least afford it.

    “This mission is more important than ever as the initiative opens its doors to innovative projects that will support education, jobs, and climate protection. Philanthropic and public capital can pave the way for private investors to finance initiatives with strong social and environmental impact. We aim to fund new ideas, pilot concepts, and de-risk financial structures while maintaining a strict focus on measurable impact,” says Dhun Davar, Head of Social Finance at UBS Optimus Foundation.

    To attract private capital to sustainable development, the initiative aims to accelerate advancements in the impact investing market by supporting the launch of innovative solutions that address market failures, deploy financial products that are under-supplied or supplied at insufficient volumes, and mobilize funding into new sectors and regions.

    The SDG Impact Finance Initiative will award feasibility study grants, ranging from USD 50,000 to USD 500,000. The Design Funding Window is now open and the first submission deadline is June 30, 2022.

    “This call for proposals will ultimately lead to new and better high impact financial vehicles revitalizing a market burdened up to now by high design and setup costs. We hope to receive many innovative and collaborative ideas that can generate a significant, measurable impact in developing countries and mobilize private investment at scale,” says Liliana de Sá Kirchknopf, Head of Private Sector Development at SECO.

Source: Convergence Blended Finance (link opens in a new window)

blended finance, climate change, financial inclusion, SDGs