SDG Impact Finance awards USD 200,000 (approx. 1.63 Cr.) grant to Varthana and its Consortium

Bangalore, February 2023: SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Impact awards USD 200,000 (approx. 1.63 Cr) grant to a consortium including Varthana, Global Schools Forum (GSF), Kaizenvest, and IDP Foundation. This grant is supported by Convergence Blended Finance.

The grant is to improve access to quality education across selected geographies in South Asia and Africa through impact-linked financing. This initiative would be funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency SDC, the UBS Optimus Foundation, and the Credit Suisse Foundation.

The consortium of Varthana, Kaizenvest, IDP Foundation, and Global Schools Forum, proposes to set up a Global Finance for Education Fund to provide USD 35 million of catalytic and investment capital to financial institutions and intermediaries serving private ECD (Early Childhood Development), LCPS (Low-Cost Private Schools) and skill development providers, across 6 countries in South Asia, Africa, and potentially South America.

The consortium’s impact finance design idea was selected alongside six other winners from 76 applications for its potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of underprivileged children aged between 0-18 years. The final winners were chosen by a team from Convergence and SDG Impact Finance after reviewing impact finance design ideas from the four UN Sustainable Goals: SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

The consortium’s solution is designed to support Low-fee Private Schools to improve learning outcomes and equity in almost 520,000 low-middle-income learners enrolled in schools across the 6 identified countries (India, Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria).

It also aims to accelerate progress toward learning recovery by facilitating access to more and better financial instruments through:

1. Increasing the amount of debt capital and equity investments available for on-lending to LCPS;

2. Scaling up and improving the pilot conducted by Varthana of tying financial loans for LCPS to clear rewards for improving access and learning outcomes for girls and marginalized groups, and for improving access to finance for women proprietors or LCPS

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