Coalition of public and private sector partners launches SDG500

Davos, Switzerland, 23 January 2020 – A coalition of public and private sector partners, including United Nations entities, non-governmental organizations and a private equity firm, launched SDG500, a new investment platform to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting.

This US$ 500 million investment platform is the first-of-its-kind and will offer exposure to six different underlying funds, which will target businesses in the agriculture, energy, education, finance, and healthcare sectors across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific regions and Latin America. Each of these funds is or will be managed by Bamboo Capital Partners.

The underlying funds are: ABC, an impact investment vehicle targeting small-holder farmers and small and medium agribusinesses in developing countries; BUILD, a fixed income fund aimed at early stage enterprises in the least developed countries; CARE SheTrades, a gender lens fund which will use debt and equity to invest in businesses in Asia; BLOC SmartAfrica and BLOC Latin America, venture capital funds targeting technology enterprises in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific regions, and Latin America; and HEAL, a blended finance venture fund to support next generational healthtech solutions for global health, including tuberculosis (TB), in emerging markets and high burden countries.

The Stop TB Partnership is a United Nations hosted agency committed to ending TB, the leading infectious disease killer in the world, surpassing both HIV and malaria in combined annual deaths. The organization and its Accelerator for Impact (a4i) initiative will be the SDG500 partner for HEAL.

The underlying funds will use debt and equity to invest at Seed, Series A and Series B stages in hundreds of businesses in emerging and frontier markets, and aims to address the ‘missing middle’ financing gap that affects entrepreneurs in these markets, where growth is constrained by a lack of access to follow-on financing.

There will be a catalytic first loss layer for the underlying funds designed to encourage and protect senior tranches of funding. Initial sponsors of the first loss layers include the European Union, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, the Governments of Luxembourg, Togo and Tunisia, CARE and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

The financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries is estimated to be US$ 2.5 trillion per year. To achieve these goals by 2030, more innovative and sustainable financing solutions are required.

Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership commented: “The SDG500 and HEAL represents the future in terms of how the world addresses the critical barriers and challenges in TB and global health. The current approach is simply archaic and not sustainable. Whether we like it or not, and if we are genuine about serving the most affected people and underserved communities, we cannot achieve our goals without the public and private sector coming together in a meaningful way. The Stop TB Partnership is honored and excited to be one of the SDG500 partners and co-partnering with Bamboo Capital Partners on HEAL to pave a new way for the public and private sector to create the future that we want and that everyone deserves. Together, we will end TB by 2030, achieve SDG 3, and be able to provide universal health coverage for all people no matter who they are or where they live.”

Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder and Managing Partner at Bamboo Capital Partners, commented: “The launch of SDG500 is a unique milestone for the impact investing industry. We have never seen a coalition of partners from the private and public sector come together to achieve the SDGs on this scale before. The missing middle financing gap is real, and it is suffocating early stage enterprises which have the potential to transform some of the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped regions. We believe that by working together to finance and scale these businesses, we can achieve the SDGs and take another step closer to a better, more sustainable future for all.”

About SDG500:

SDG500 is an impact investment platform combining partners from the private and public sectors, including United Nations entities, non-governmental organizations and a private equity firm, to catalyze investments that will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The platform will raise USD$ 500 million for hundreds of businesses in emerging and frontier markets. SDG500 will offer an exposure to six underlying funds targeting businesses in the agriculture, finance, energy, education, and healthcare sectors in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Pacific regions. It has a gender-lens focus and some of the funds will specifically invest in businesses which empower and provide jobs for women. The blended finance structure of SDG500’s underlying funds is designed to catalyze and de-risk further funding from institutional investors in order to make a significant contribution to achieving the SDGs by 2030.