“I can tell from the energy here that we’re on the cusp of something big.”
Milena Bertram could not have agreed more when she heard these words from Elizabeth Littlefield, the conference chair of the GIIN Investor Forum 2018. System change was definitely in the air in Paris last week, as more than 1200 people from 80 countries met for the world’s largest gathering of impact investors: the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum 2018.
From October 29-31, participants and panelists from the worldwide impact investing community discussed and debated the most pressing questions in the field today. Among these were: How can we not only mobilize more capital – how can we make this capital work best to scale impact? How can we fuel the global impact investing movement? And can we move beyond deals and funds, to reform finance itself?
Milena, as head of External Relations at Finance in Motion, had some ideas of her own. She contributed to a panel on the first day of the forum to discuss blended finance, explaining how the fund structures pioneered by Finance in Motion leverage public and private capital to achieve more impact than either of these sources alone. She also introduced the “L-share” concept: This is a dedicated share class that enables funds to provide lending in local currency, thus safeguarding borrowers against the vagaries of exchange rate fluctuations – a real risk for any enterprise, but especially for the micro and small businesses targeted by Finance in Motion-advised impact funds.
“The GIIN Investor Forum is a highly valuable event for the impact investment community,” remarked Milena. “These gatherings bring together a wide range of investors who can really make a difference in the world, and spark discussions on the best way to channel resources toward solving social and environmental issues. That means building a strong impact investment market that pools expertise and insight. Blue Haven cofounder Liesel Pritzker said during her speech at the Forum: ‘You can’t fix everything by yourself.’ She is right. The problems we want to tackle are complex and require the combined efforts of investors and influencers from across the globe.”
Finance in Motion is a member of the GIIN Investors’ Council for leading impact investors. For more information on the GIIN, visit: thegiin.org