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Closing the Funding Gap for Impact Zebras

Jeff Pilisuk July 13, 2022

According to the IFC, SGBs in emerging markets face a $930 billion financing gap. Surviving this funding gap presents an enormous challenge to these entrepreneurs and the ecosystem committed to supporting them. Why is the funding gap so persistent? What funding mechanisms or solutions already exist? 

In Spring 2022, Miller Center Launched “Miller Center Invest” an innovative new set of funds, designed to fund “Impact Zebras” in the valley of death. For this session, we’ve defined Impact Zebras as purpose-driven enterprises striving to create long-term, financially- and socially- sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Impact Zebras are also uniquely challenged in securing capital ($50k to $2 million), since their growth is often slower, and exits more elusive, than traditional startups.

In this dynamic and interactive session, we will explore solutions for addressing this persistent funding gap and identify effective partnerships across the ecosystem that are developing the funding mechanisms to close this gap.



Meta Themes

  • Power and Capital

  • Reimagine Systems


Impact Investing, Philanthropy, Fund Structures, Access to Capital, Impact Zebras, Funding Gaps

Purpose and Desired Outcome

This session will: (a) Highlight solutions that are already working to address this funding gap; (b) Uncover new ideas and opportunities to develop new solutions or expand existing funding mechanisms; (c) Build connections between organizations and individuals to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration.


  • Entrepreneurs

  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Asset Managers

  • Corporate & SME

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Government


  • NameJohn Kohler
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationRed Leaf Venture Management
  • StatusInvited
  • NameAnastasiya Litvinova
  • TitleDirector, Capital Advisory Services
  • OrganizationPalladium Impact Capital
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameJay Nwachu
  • TitlePresident
  • OrganizationIgnite Capital
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameTed Levinson
  • TitleFounder & CEO
  • OrganizationBeneficial Returns
  • StatusConfirmed
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