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SDGs and Financing Universal Energy Access: Is Impact Investing Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right?
Mark Correnti, Director for Impact Investing, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
There has been recent heightened discussion whether the financing of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #7 and energy access has overheated, under-heated, been wrongly configured, or whether intended populations have been reached. This session reviews prominent contrasting opinions, provides recent survey results from the field, and presents viewpoints from both social enterprises and impact investors.
Africa, Beyond Aid: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, emerging markets, entrepreneurship, finance, impact investing, neighborhood economics, scale, SDGs, Sustainable Livelihoods
Leslie Labruto, Global Energy Lead, Acumen Fund Marc van den Berg, Partner, Double Bottom Line (DBL) Partners (Moderator) Mark Correnti, Director of Impact Investing, Miller Center For Social Entrepreneurship
2 (or more) energy access social enterprises from India/SSA Africa. (Closing Comments) Thane Kreiner, Executive Director, Miller Center For Social Entrepreneurship
Session Outline: Impact Investment Figures: Current Investments Into and Annual Financing Required To Address SDGs in General and SDG #7 In Particular. Oxfam View: "Impact investment arose out of a desire by investors to preserve capital while making positive impact. In doing so, it was able to reach enterprises and have impacts that financial markets were not able to serve. Newer entrants are instead chasing higher returns while hoping to preserve impact. This paper argues that this risks discrediting the sector through generating unrealistic expectations about financial returns from impact investments. This may lead both to capital being drawn away from (or not attracted to) vital investments that deliver low or zero returns, and also to the wider perception of failure of the sector if expectations of high returns and high impact are not met." https://www.scribd.com/document/343998543/Impact-Investing-Who-are-we-serving-A-case-of-mismatch-between-supply-and-demand The Ceniarth View: "According to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, published in the first quarter of 2017, more than $200 million in debt and equity was disbursed to off-grid solar vendors in 2016, up from $20 million in 2013. With few exceptions, the vast majority of this funding is focused on East Africa. As new venture funds have been announced and corporate interest grows, 2017 should bring a similar level of activity." "In our opinion, this may be too much, too fast for a sector that still has not fully solved core business model issues and may struggle under the high growth expectations and misaligned incentives of many venture capitalists. Would we like to see a healthy amount of thoughtful, well-aligned capital deployed in the sector? Absolutely. Do we think that there are select enterprises intensely focused on profitability and capital efficiency that are deserving of this capital? Certainly. But, in general, we fear that we are headed up a broader hype cycle curve and we do not like the trajectory of that ride." http://nextbillion.net/an-impact-investor-urges-caution-on-the-energy-access-hype-cycle/ The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) View: "This is why, contrary to Ceniarth’s view, we do not see the $200 million invested into off-grid solar last year as a problem. Access to distributed clean energy has been historically underfunded by public finance institutions (see Sierra Club’s analysis on this topic) and, as Ceniarth notes, private investment has been scarce until very recently. Now, it is estimated that $49.4 billion of investment on energy access alone is needed annually to reach Sustainable Development Goal 7 on access to clean, modern energy. While $200 million in 2016 is a good start, a lot more will be needed to help existing companies reach scale and to foster the hundreds of new enterprises that are needed in this sector." "Ceniarth expresses displeasure on two fronts: that companies are selling products that go beyond a small solar home system, and that they are not serving the most rural and remote communities." "In the second issue, last-mile communities are, by their very nature, hard and expensive to reach and to serve. It should be noted that this is not a challenge that is unique to energy; the last mile is challenging for every sector, including microfinance. In Ceniarth’s view, PAYGO solar companies are not serving the most remote, isolated communities and are therefore not delivering on the “original promise” of the sector. However, the diversity of needs and characteristics of populations without access to modern, clean and affordable electricity is such that a diversity of business models and approaches is also needed. Ceniarth is welcome to focus on extremely rural and remote communities if it sees that as most aligned with its vision. However, that should not diminish the value of efforts to bring access to modern electricity to areas that are less remote but still not adequately served by the grid, or even to offer more choice and security to on-grid customers." http://nextbillion.net/dear-critics-heres-why-the-off-grid-energy-industry-needs-impact-investment/
- June 14, 2017
Final day to submit an idea.
- June 15 - 29, 2017
Commenting and voting period. All sessions open for voting.
- June 30 - July 13, 2017
Judging panel and final selection by SOCAP17 Content Team.
- July 14, 2017
Winning sessions announced to session organizers.
A lucky person will receive 2 free tickets to SOCAP17 and other impact-themed prizes!ENTER TO WIN