The Impact Programme seeks to support impact investments into businesses reaching the underserved as consumers, suppliers, distributors or employees, in some of the world’s poorest and most fragile states, and innovative business models. It has two components: building the market for impact investment and providing technical assistance for companies supported by the Impact Fund and Impact Accelerator investment vehicles.
The Impact Programme’s market-building activities seek to reduce the constraints in the impact investing value chain and make the practice of impact investing as effective, as efficient and as attractive as possible to investors, intermediaries and enterprises.
The market building work focuses on five areas:
- Opening up sources of finance through new mechanisms for investments
- Supporting improved practice in impact measurement and management
- Building fund manager capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
- Bridging information gaps and increase market linkages
- Supporting deal flow of clearly impactful and investable enterprises.
The Impact Programme also offers funding for technical assistance. Funds invest in young, fragile or high growth businesses, and such companies generally require significant support – going beyond the limits of what standard fund management fees can cover.
Technical assistance in the programme has guidance, policies and procedures in place to govern how funds are used, as well as rigorous quarterly monitoring processes. A Technical Assistance Committee, comprised of representatives from CDC and independent members, provides oversight of the facility, including ensuring that the funds are being deployed in a transparent and accountable manner.
CDC’s Investment Vehicles
Until September 2017, the Impact Programme included two investment vehicles, the Impact Fund (IF) and Impact Accelerator (IA). These vehicles have now been transferred to the CDC programme of support in Africa and South Asia. Strong links will remain for overseeing technical assistance and market building.
Through the Impact Fund, CDC supports investment funds pursuing high-impact strategies such as investing in businesses that provide access to improved good and services, and income generating opportunities to underserved people, or investing in more challenging or fragile regions with limited investment activity. Through the Impact Accelerator, CDC supports pilots for new, high-impact business models, investment in difficult countries and strategies that target provision of goods or services to the underserved.