Impact investors come together to tackle economic and social costs of coronavirus in new GIIN coalition

Coronavirus

A major new impact investment coalition has launched to address the social and economic fallout from Covid-19, with financial support coming from leading foundations including The Rockefeller Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Ford Foundation.

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) convened the new Response, Recovery, and Resilience Investment Coalition (R3) with the purpose of maximising global impact investing response efforts to the pandemic, by identifying high-impact investment opportunities and co-ordinating impact investors to fill financing gaps.

“Impact investing is more important than ever. Impact investors have been at the forefront of driving innovative solutions and in galvanising collective action towards solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We must lean into this moment and into this leadership role to help address the needs arising from the current global crisis,” says GIIN’s co-founder and CEO, Amit Bouri. 

The initiative is a collaboration across prominent impact investing networks – to be managed by the Global Impact Investing Network as the organising body – and is supported by a group of leading foundations.

“The GIIN and our R3 Coalition partners are committed to driving progress forward, and together, our efforts will not only help communities around the world weather this storm, but also emerge with a renewed commitment to building a more inclusive and resilient system over the long-term,” adds Bouri.

The GIIN says that the group will focus on surfacing high-impact investment opportunities, particularly those related to health interventions and access to capital, for investors seeking new Covid-19 related investments. 

It will then work to identify and fill financing gaps, coordinate efforts among relevant impact investors to direct new capital to high-impact solutions, and share its learnings, insights, and resources with the wider investment community to inform and support longer-term economic recovery and resilience efforts. 

Financial support and guidance comes from foundations including David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation, John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Sorenson Impact Foundation. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a seminal test for the impact investment field,” says Sean Hinton, co-director of the Open Society Economic Justice Program and CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund. “By supporting the R3 Coalition, the Open Society Foundations aspire to help unite the sector and swiftly deliver impactful investments to the places where they are most needed around the world.”   

Meredith Shields, managing director of Sorenson Impact Foundation, adds: “More than ever, this is a time to work together, sharing resources and ideas for the common good. So, we are thrilled to be partnering with the GIIN and some of the largest impact investors in the world, who have come together quickly to form this coalition in order to enable us to work faster and better to respond to this crisis and start rebuilding a more resilient global economy going forward.” 

The activities of the R3 coalition will be driven by the GIIN with a group of global partner networks, including the Network of Development Entrepreneurs, AVPN, B Lab, the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI), European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), India Impact Investors Council (IIC), Mission Investors Exchange (MIE), Synergos, Toniic, and US Impact Investing Alliance.

Fran Seegull, executive director, US Impact Investing Alliance, says: "It is clear that the immediate and long-term impacts of this crisis will fall disproportionately on vulnerable and marginalised communities. But the experience of impact investors who have been serving these places for decades tells us that it is possible to craft a response and recovery effort that leads to a more equitable and inclusive economy for all. Impact investors must mobilise now and raise their voices to help inform private, public and philanthropic response efforts."

Søren Peter Andreasen, CEO of EDFI, explains: “These investments are needed now to help businesses in vulnerable countries through the crisis, to save jobs, and to boost crucial supply chains such as healthcare and agri-food.” 

Randall Kempner, executive director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, concludes: “The impact investing community has an opportunity – and responsibility – to respond to the coronavirus crisis and lead the way to recovery. In emerging markets in particular, we think impact investors and other members of the entrepreneurial community have an important role to play in driving economic revitalisation that improves opportunity and equity for all citizens.”