Releases First Zero Gap Fund Update Highlighting Five Key Investments with Large-Scale Global Impact
New York, September 18, 2020 – Today, The Rockefeller Foundation released its first Zero Gap Fund Update, a report demonstrating the power of mobilizing catalytic capital to drive first-of-a-kind solutions to global challenges. Since the launch of the Fund in April of 2019 in partnership with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and its flagship Catalytic Capital Consortium (C3), early impact from several of the Fund’s investments includes: 717 acres of reforestation in California as the result of a new debt instrument; 23 million low-income and underserved consumers reached through a pioneering impact fund focused on low-income consumers in emerging markets; 327 loans provided through an innovative student loan platform targeting low-income students with high-potential in the United States; and more than 26,000 women micro entrepreneurs gaining access to affordable credit to grow their businesses through the world’s first gender-lens impact investing bond. The Fund’s diverse global portfolio also includes a blended private equity fund focused on climate adaptation in the Global South.
“The Zero Gap Fund builds off The Rockefeller Foundation’s long history of pioneering new ways to magnify the impact of private capital and spur innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems,” said Maria Kozloski, Senior Vice President of Innovative Finance at The Rockefeller Foundation. “The true measure of our success will come through the lasting on-the-ground improvements to vulnerable communities and ecosystems—day to day, year to year— stemming from our investments. I’m excited to continue to push the boundaries of financial innovation for global good.
There is a $2.5 trillion annual funding gap that must be closed in order to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MacArthur Foundation’s C3 is a pioneering investment, learning, and market development initiative bringing together leading impact investors to encourage greater impact and use of catalytic capital globally to help close the gap. As a C3 field partner, the Fund focuses on deploying catalytic capital to scale high-innovation financial mechanisms to unlock new and additional private capital towards reaching the SDGs. To date, the Fund has mobilized $385 million in private capital to address the annual funding gap.
“Zero Gap Fund demonstrates the power of catalytic capital to scale innovative, effective solutions to critical challenges, from access to quality education to forest management and wildfires,” said Debra Schwartz, Managing Director of Impact Investments. “MacArthur is proud to partner with Rockefeller and its groundbreaking Zero Gap Fund. Through our joint investments, we can unlock more of the financial resources needed to build a just, equitable, and resilient world.”
As the first Zero Gap Fund Update, the report follows five of the Fund’s investments across Africa, Asia, and the United States:
- Blue Forest’s Forest Resilience Bond aims to prevent the severity and frequency of forest fires in the United States.
- Sixup’s fintech platform provides student loans to high-performing, low-income students in the United States.
- LeapFrog’s Emerging Consumer Fund III supports emerging consumers in Africa and Asia with access to financial services and healthcare.
- Lightsmith Group’s CRAFT Fund drives climate adaption in emerging markets
- Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)’s Women’s Livelihood Bond 2 expands access to capital for women-owned businesses in Southeast Asia.
To learn more about the Zero Gap Fund and download the full Update Report please visit: https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/initiative/zero-gap-fund/
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.