A year ago, at the Paris Peace Forum, President Emmanuel Macron and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria launched the Inclusive Growth Financing Forum, a locus for interaction between member companies of Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) and the financial sector, to better understand how inclusive growth could be financed going forward.
In a short year, the IGFF has become a venue where impact investors focusing on inclusive growth investments can interact with B4IG corporates and provide feedback on financing and non-financing parameters. In 2020, the IGFF consulted with the international finance sector and with the G7 countries that are developing public initiatives on impact, as well as with the companies and the banks of the B4IG coalition, to understand how to foster a financing ecosystem that is conducive to promoting inclusive growth.
As the COVID crisis threatens to deepen socio-economic divides, this initiative is more relevant than ever. Even before the pandemic, there was increasing awareness in advanced economies, both among policy makers and in the private sector, of the need for economic growth that is more inclusive – i.e. distributed fairly across society and creating opportunities for all. In this context, the IGFF’s work has led to three key findings:
- First, the Inclusive Growth ecosystem is under-developed. In short, the financial ecosystem around inclusive growth is not yet mature.
- Second, specific IG actions do not currently scale up to system-wide change. For growth to be truly inclusive, specific IG initiatives will need to be scaled up to the economy at large.
- And third, public and private financing initiatives do not work collaboratively to support inclusive growth actions.
With this understanding, the IGFF has launched its Inclusive Growth Marketplace on November 11th, following the IGFF’s Inaugural Roundtable, held on November 10th and during which panellists addressed the crucial issues of definition & measurement, transparency & disclosure, and financing of inclusive growth.
This first-of-its-kind inclusive growth marketplace convened impact investors from all around the OECD geography, with more than USD 1.5 trillion in assets under management (AUM) to discover eleven of the initial projects and programs of the B4IG companies as well as a handful of social entrepreneurs that are aligned on the guiding principles of the B4IG Pledge.
The IGFF gathered a truly diverse audience for these two events, composed of leading corporates with global revenues topping USD 1 trillion, investors, foundations, policymakers, MDBs, academics, and think tanks, all with a stake in fostering inclusive growth, to sharpen its collective brainpower and move in one, same direction toward a shared understanding and consolidation of the IG financing ecosystem.
The COVID-19 crisis is a wakeup call to renew our efforts and reduce inequalities of income and opportunities. The B4IG coalition, its members, and its partners, are responding to this call.