Finance in Motion Managing Director Elvira Lefting joined other impact investing experts in London to judge development fund pitches in a format similar to the popular TV shows “Dragon’s Den” and “Shark Tank”. As part of the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum, proponents of three prospective funds each attempted to convince the jury that their project was ready for market.
Lefting said serving as a judge allowed her to both share her experiences in impact investing with prospective fund managers and learn about new developments in the field. “All of the fund pitches presented at the forum are of interest to Finance in Motion and are close to what we do, so it was a great opportunity to listen to the ideas and provide feedback – hopefully meaningful – especially since all of the concepts will face some of the same issues confronting us.”
The three pitches were the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, created by Mirova and the UNCCD Global Mechanism to support large-scale rehabilitation of degraded land for sustainable use with long-term private sector financing; the Sustainable Ocean Fund by Althelia Ecosphere, a new public-private partnership for impact investments in marine and coastal projects; and the Sustainable Cocoa initiative in the Dominican Republic by NatureBank, which aims to achieve sustainability in cocoa by supporting communities that rely on the crop for their livelihood.
After hearing the pitches, members of the jury expressed their views about the fund ideas, and each singled out the concepts they said were most viable.
The forum, which was held for a fourth time, seeks to elevate investments in sustainable landscapes and hosted experts from the financial services industry and leaders from the corporate sector, government and academia. The event offered a unique platform for experts to explore the role of private finance in enhancing livelihoods and landscapes across the globe.