On 28 March in Minsk UNDP and its partners will host the first SDG Impact Investment Forum.

Aim: The Forum is designed to stimulate social impact investment growth and support active engagement of the business community into SDG achievement in the country:

Objectives:

  1. Present best foreign practices of impact investment.
  2. identify key sectors for impact investment development in the country.

Topics:

  1. Impact investments.
  2. SDG and corporate social responsibility.
  3. Accelerators of sustainable development.
  4. Partnership for SDG achievements.
  5. Sustainable and innovative business solutions.
  6. Green funding.

The Forum serves as a platform to find impact investment entry points and present investment packages across four SDG accelerators, identified by leading economists and endorsed by the government:

  1. Green transition towards inclusive and sustainable growth.
  2. Future generation orientation.
  3. Digital transformation and social innovations.
  4. Gender equitable society.

The impact investment packages are fully aligned with the Belarusian legal context and outline the potential impact of the projects and return on investment for businesses.

The Forum also profiles a growing list of companies that are capturing their existing contribution to SDG achievement, given the considerable and increasing public interest in the subject.

Participants

  1. Business communities
  2. Governments
  3. International development partners
  4. Start-ups and social enterprises
  5. International experts in impact investment
  6. Financial institutions, including the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus
  7. Investment agencies and institutions
  8. NGOs
  9. The mass media

What is impact investment?

Impact investment has gained worldwide traction as a method of solving development challenges in a more sustainable way. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) identifies impact investments as investments made with the intention of generating a positive, measurable, social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Over the past few years impact investment has grown from niche to almost $23 trillion of investments worldwide managed under environmental, social and governance standards.

Background

In 2015 more than 150 world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and opened up a new era for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs call for worldwide action among governments, businesses, international organizations and civil society to make economic growth socially and environmentally sustainable.

The SDGs represent a truly ambitious undertaking and an opportunity for the world to chart a more sustainable path, however, estimates of cost implementation range from US$5-7 trillion. When viewed alongside traditional ODA budgets of around $150 billion annually, the scale of the undertaking and ambition becomes apparent.

Clearly the SDGs cannot be achieved without the robust participation of the business community and private capital – of which there is currently $256 trillion under management. Just 1.5% of this would meet the financial gap for the SDGs. But what about business’ interest? Why does the private sector need the SDGs?

According to a study carried out by the OECD, investing in the SDGs globally could help generate $12 trillion of value to businesses, while business opportunities associated with them could put 380 million people into work by 2030.

Fundamentally, the SDGs represent an excellent investment opportunity, a means of enhancing sustainability and a way of opening up new revenue streams.

More detailed information about the Forum's agenda you can find here.