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How Blended Finance Can Help Achieve the SDGs: Episode 40 of Money + Meaning

SOCAP February 11, 2020

A new episode of Money + Meaning, SOCAP’s podcast, is now available!


Don’t miss out! Subscribe to Money + Meaning on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, or anywhere else you find podcasts.

Joan Larrea, CEO of Convergence, on the Practice and Promise of Blended Finance

“Markets are not perfect, therefore you need to solve for market imperfections. People’s perception of risk may be too high, markets can be an inefficient size, there might not be a domestic capital market (etc). Blended finance is a deal by deal by deal method to put money where it needs to go and to overcome market failures.”       
–Joan Larrea

Institutional investors have trillions of dollars in financial assets under their control. Getting them to invest more of that capital in high impact projects in emerging markets could lead to massive progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. But there are significant challenges that often prevent those institutional investors from moving capital in that direction. Blended finance is a solution that can ease those challenges and motivate institutional investors to get involved.

What is blended finance?

Convergence CEO Joan Larrea says her organization defines blended finance as, “the use of catalytic capital to increase private sector investment in sustainable development.” How can public and philanthropic capital catalyze private sector investment in sustainable development solutions in emerging markets? In the latest Money and Meaning, Convergence CEO Joan Larrea answers that question in plain language and provides concrete examples of blended finance in action, including a deal that helped move money into life-saving clean drinking water and sanitation projects in South Asia.

Convergence is the global network for blended finance. With their focus on emerging economies, Convergence aims to drive private sector investment (from both impact investors and institutional investors) where it is needed most. In this episode, Larrea, whose expertise was honed over two decades of experience in private equity and international development investing, explains how blended finance can accelerate solutions to poverty, hunger, and the other SDGs. She also talks about the future of the blended finance industry and why we need to “really hustle” to get on a billions to trillions trajectory if we are to achieve the SDGs on time.

Listen to more episodes of Money + Meaning here.

Featured Voices

Joan Lorrea

Alex Kravitz

About Money + Meaning

Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. This series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors. 

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