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5 Must-Read Devex Articles Curated by Raj Kumar

SOCAP September 25, 2018

A SOCAP Guest Post by Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief at Devex
In the lead up to SOCAP18 we asked some of our media partners to curate a list of their most important stories and interviews about one of the conference themes for the SOCAP community. This piece comes from Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief at Devex.
More than $2 trillion in additional financing each year is needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Aid alone won’t cut it; we need a new era of innovative finance. At Devex, the media platform for the global development community, we cover the SDGs and how to achieve them. We are honored to serve over one million aid workers and global development professionals, providing news, business intelligence, and funding & career opportunities – so you can do more good for more people.
We cover innovative finance in depth, so it’s tough to pick just five articles. But here are five of my favorite pieces that could be useful background reading for SOCAP attendees:

1. Webinar: A social entrepreneur’s guide to financing

The Skoll foundation has been driving large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems for almost 20 years. In this webinar, Devex’s Catherine Cheney talks to the experts about the practical ways social entrepreneurs can think about sustainable funding strategies.
Why it matters: The global development community will only achieve the SDGs if we find creative solutions to work together and finance solutions. Social enterprises are key to this equation. In order for social enterprises to realize their full potential as powerful actors in the global development community they need to be able to scale their impact quickly. Finding the right sustainable funding strategy is key to that success.

2. How blended capital can help entrepreneurs make it through the missing middle

Institutional impact investors seeking market rate returns are not investing in social enterprises at scale we might all like to see. A blended capital approach – combining equity investment and impact investment grants – is a unique approach aimed at closing that financing gap.
Why it matters: Too many social entrepreneurs run into a financing gap at the stage when money required is too big for foundations and philanthropists, and too small and too risky for institutional social investors. Closing this gap is essential if social entrepreneurs are to scale up and become financially sustainable.

3. Q & A: Supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs

With 29 million Africans expected to join the labor market by 2030, supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs across the continent is not only a good thing to do, it’s smart business. Devex spoke with senior economist at the European Investment Bank, Jean-Philippe Stijns who shares a breakdown of the African entrepreneurship ecosystem and offers practical insight for investors.  

Why it matters: Africa has the youngest population in world, with nearly 60 percent of people under the age of 25. There’s an incredible opportunity to invest in young entrepreneurs and transform the ‘youth bulge’ into a development opportunity that will equip young people with the skills necessary to contribute to the growth of their economies.

4. Impact investing growth continues as industry begins tracking to SDGs

This spring, the Global Impact Investing Network, a nonprofit working to increase the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, released its annual impact investing report revealing that 26% of respondents track some or all of their investments against the SDGs and another 33% of others surveyed plan to do so in the future.
Why it matters: While it’s no secret that impact investors are increasingly interested in the Sustainable Development Goals, now we have evidence. It’s good news to Global Goals champions everywhere as more sectors adopt the SDGs as an organizing framework.

5. At the Vatican, a different type of investing conference

The Vatican and impact investing? It’s an unlikely pair but one that is here to stay. Devex shares conversations from the third Vatican Impact Investing Conference held in Rome this past summer.
Why it matters: While the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic organizations are quite green on impact investing, we can’t deny their convening power. For faith-based investors, it’s an opportunity to educate and experiment with a new set of partners.
I hope you enjoy these must-reads from my colleagues at Devex. As we say around here, and as I hope you’ll take to heart at SOCAP, “Do Good. Do It Well.” Thanks for reading!
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