The Brief: Small and growing business liquidity and stabilization, Seychelles’ debt-for-conservation swap, development-finance relief, tools for…

Greetings, Agents of Impacts!

Emerging market fund managers scramble to keep enterprises and entrepreneurs afloat. As the global economic slowdown and local lockdowns that come with the COVID pandemic shut down capital flows, thousands of otherwise viable and growing businesses around the world are being forced to pivot, pause, furlough or fire and shutter. A generation of entrepreneurs is worrying they will run out of cash; the ecosystem of emerging market capital providers that has financed their growth is scrambling to help them survive. The advice everyone is getting is shorten your cash-conversion cycle or delay payments to your suppliers. Well, thats easier said than done, saysBrendan Mullenof Secha Capital in South Africa. The real risk is that companies here will not get the funding they need in time, saysAmanda Cottermanof EquaLife Capital in Nairobi. AddsLaurie Spengler, who is working with theCollaborative for Frontier Financeto identify ways to meet needs for revenue substitution, employment retention, supply-chain transactions and other financing, There is growing recognition that small businesses urgently need cash to continue operations.

A rush of liquidity may be crucial to mitigating a broad-based domino effect. Many of these fund managers are investing in exactly the solutions that we need right now and in the future: health, climate, water and sanitation, says Catalyst at LargesSuzanne Biegel. Our main goal is keeping companies teams intact, and helping them position themselves for the bounce-back when this is all over, adds Blue Haven InitiativesLauren Cochran. Even cash flow-positive, pro-social companies positioned to do well in the pandemic have been caught in the global downdraft. In Nigeria, personal-hygiene products companyWemyis struggling to manufacture enough diapers, feminine products and sanitary wipes, which have beenselling out as customers prepared fortwo-week shutdown. Our supply chain has been disrupted massively, says Aruwa Capital ManagementsAdesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, an investor in Wemy. Its definitely a challenging time.

Keep reading, Emerging market fund managers scramble to keep enterprises and entrepreneurs afloat by Jessica Pothering on ImpactAlpha.

Seychelles debt-for-conservation deal paves the way for more blue bonds. Four years ago, the Seychelles government signed a deal withThe Nature Conservancyto refinance sovereign debt at a discount in return for protecting 30% of its oceans. TNC raised grants and loans to pull off the $21.6 million deal. Last week, the Indian Ocean archipelagomade goodon its promise, announcing Marine Protection Areas that will protect 158,000 square miles of water and habitat while allowing for low-impact economic activities like tourism (see,Rising Tides: Debt-for-Nature Swaps Let Impact Investors Finance Climate Resilience).

Vickers Venture Partners raises $200 million for sixth fund.The Singapore-based early stage venture firm istargeting$500 million to invest in global deep tech ventures, including existing portfolio companies. In January, Vickers led an $11 million Series A round for U.K.-basedEmergex, which is working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Other portfolio companies include bio-plastics makerRWDC Industries, regenerative medicine firmSamumed, and geothermal energy producerEavor.

Singapores OB Asset Management debuts SDG fund for retail investors.The United Sustainable Credit Income Fund lets individuals invest in the RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income Fund alongside high-net worth and institutional investors. The fundinvestsin green bonds and companies making progress towards the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Abu Dhabi plans Gulf regions first social impact bond.Abu DhabisMaan Authority for Social Contributionand local real estate developerAldar Propertieswill develop the bond, which will be the first pay-for-success bond among the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Aldar will also invest AED 2 million ($545,000). Social impact bonds are a game-changer for how we think about the delivery of social programmes,saidSalama Al Ameemi, the director general of Maan. The backers didnt specify which social challenges the bond will target.

How development finance leaders can help emerging market economies survive the COVID-19 crisis. As the pandemic unfolds in emerging markets, governments facing liquidity challenges and limited abilities to borrow will struggle to respond to the pending economic crisis. Development finance institutions already are taking action. TheInternational Finance Corp.has announced $8 billion in lending to help clients cover banks payment risks, replenish capital to pay bills and wages, and share banks risks in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (see,African Development Bank issues a record $3 billion social bond). More capital will be needed, write DalbergsEdwin Macharia, Jesse Baver, Kusi HornbergerandRachna Saxenain a guest post onImpactAlpha. To ensure financial relief reaches small businesses, workersand the self-employed, the Dalberg team calls on development finance leaders to coordinate liquidity facilities, focus financing on the most vulnerable, and expedite deals.

New tools to help investors assess and share impact.The Positive Impact Initiative of theU.N. Environment Programme Finance Initiativereleased theCorporate Impact Analysis Toolto help banks and investors understand the impact performance and potential of their clients and investee companies. The initiative also released thePortfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banksto guide banks through an analysis of their portfolios. Investor networkToniic, in partnership withIMP+ACT Alliance, a sister initiative to theImpact Management Project, launchedTracer, a platform to help Toniic members share and compare information on impact investment goals, performance and outcomes.Share this post.

The World Economic Forumislookingfor a head of impact measurement and managementBlackstoneseeksa vice president ofmeasurement and reportingfor its Strategic Partners Blackstone Impact Asset Management group in New York Beeck CentersLisa Hallishostingthe first of a two-part virtual workshop on impact management tools and frameworks on Thursday, April 9 We Care SolarsLaura Stachelis leading a virtualSkoll World Forum panelon Scaling Clean Energy Solutions for frontline health clinics, with representatives from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Zimbabwe, on Tuesday, March 31 at 12pmET / 5pm London via Zoom (see,Cost-effective response to COVID-19: Light every health clinic in Africa and south Asia).

Thank you for reading.

Mar. 31, 2020

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The Brief: Small and growing business liquidity and stabilization, Seychelles' debt-for-conservation swap, development-finance relief, tools for...

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