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New platform could unlock billions for development in emerging nations

Submitted by scc staff on July 17, 2015

A lack of funding has always been a common obstacle that developing nations have struggled to overcome. But a new initiative promises to make it easier for those who want to invest to give, and for those who need the investment to receive.

Council Lead Partner MasterCard is among those participating in a new financing platform called Convergence. The platform is designed specifically to help emerging and frontier markets by helping to attract investment and reducing the investors’ risk.

Overcoming barriers to investment
Convergence, which is an independent organization based in Toronto, Canada, says private investors are often interested in emerging markets, but they’re held back by a variety of factors, including a lack of knowledge and data about the market and limited networks.

Overcoming those barriers requires significant investment in and of itself, which can negate the return on any investment. That becomes even more problematic as these would-be investors are under pressure to boost their returns.

This initiative will help connect private investors and public and philanthropic investors, unlocking new sources of capital and providing new flexibility to use it. Convergence is the world’s first platform to blend private, public and philanthropic capital, and it believes the effort could unlock billions in new funding.

Wide support
In addition to MasterCard, founding members of the initiative include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Black Rhino, the Government of Ethiopia, the Government of the Netherlands, the Government of Senegal, Mara Group and The Rockefeller Foundation.

The initiative itself is being designed and launched by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the World Economic Forum, Dalberg Global Development Advisors and the Global Development Incubator.

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