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August 19th, 2021
Seattle, WA; Bogotá, Colombia; Nairobi, Kenya – Today Global Partnerships announces the launch of its ninth fund, the Global Partnerships Impact-First Growth Fund, with $45.5 million committed as of its first close. At the outset, the fund will prioritize social enterprises that, given the COVID-19 pandemic, require infusions of patient debt on attractive terms to resume growth and scale impact.
The Impact-First Growth Fund aims to deliver high social impact by:
- Broadening opportunity, supporting sustainable solutions across all facets of poverty: livelihoods, education, energy, health, housing, water, and sanitation;
- Deepening inclusion, prioritizing investments where opportunity is expanded to include poorer and marginalized people, especially women and the rural poor;
- Serving millions, investing in sustainable, scalable solutions that positively impact the lives of millions of people; and
- Improving lives, focusing investments on solutions that empower people to earn a living and provide for the basic necessities of life.
“The Impact-First Growth Fund is Global Partnerships’ strategic response to the pandemic, which has severely impacted – and will continue to impact – the lives of people living in poverty,” said Rick Beckett, Chief Executive Officer of Global Partnerships. “The fund is designed to support high-impact social enterprises that are well-positioned not only to manage through pandemic-related challenges, but also to come out on the other side with viable plans to grow, deepen inclusion, and expand impact.”
$8 million in catalytic funding, including $3 million from Ceniarth and $2.5 million from the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, will provide first-loss protection for the fund. This catalytic capital was leveraged to secure a $37.5 million anchor investment from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
“At Ceniarth, we believe that sustainably supporting deeply underserved communities requires investment strategies that genuinely prioritize impact even when that means more modest investor returns,” said Diane Isenberg, Founder and Director at Ceniarth. “The pandemic has further highlighted the need for impact-first financing vehicles like this new fund, and we are pleased to have played an early and catalytic role in its development.”
“High-impact social enterprises can support people living in poverty as they navigate the pandemic and its aftermath,” said Lanse Davis of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. “What they need now is affordable working capital for growth. The Impact-First Growth Fund is meeting that need and we hope to pave the way for more investors to follow suit.”
The DFC facility reflects the agency’s commitment to financing deeply inclusive pandemic responses. It also aligns with DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative, which has catalyzed more than $7 billion of investment in projects that are owned by women, led by women, or provide a product or service that empowers women. “The burden of the COVID-19 pandemic is falling disproportionately on the shoulders of people living in poverty, and in particular women,” said DFC’s Vice President of Development Credit, James Polan. “The Impact-First Growth Fund aligns with the DFC’s strategy to invest in the economic empowerment, resilience, and well-being of marginalized communities, and the fund’s gender lens helps ensure that women obtain access to the resources they need to build a brighter future for their businesses, families, and communities.”
The Impact-First Growth Fund will invest in a portfolio of high-impact social enterprises, with a focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. The Fund has the ability to scale to $100 million.
About Global Partnerships
Global Partnerships is an impact-first fund manager dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. For 26 years GP has invested in sustainable solutions that help people increase their incomes and improve their lives, with investments in livelihoods, education, energy, health, housing, water, and sanitation. Since inception, GP and its affiliated funds have deployed over $500 million in impact investments to over 161 partners, bringing meaningful impact to over 24.3 million lives in 26 countries. To learn more, visit www.globalpartnerships.org.
Ceniarth is the impact-first family office of Diane Isenberg that together with an affiliated, private charitable foundation, supports funds and enterprises benefitting underserved, primarily rural, communities. To learn more, visit www.ceniarthllc.com.
About Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund
Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund is a family foundation that supports education, arts and culture, the environment, and health.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. DFC invests across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights. To learn more, visit www.dfc.gov.