About The Client
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is responsible for the overall coordination of Swiss development activities and humanitarian aid efforts. By collaborating with partner countries and organisations, SDC endeavours to establish structural conditions that pave the way for stable economic growth, ultimately unleashing the untapped potential of development activities.
To be more impact-oriented, development finance actors face the need to broaden their financial toolkit to better align their financial support with the impact performance of investees and grantees. By applying innovative finance tools, they can address the “missing middle” challenge more efficiently. This requires crafting financial solutions tailored to impact ventures, using instruments that go beyond plain equity or classic debt. A particular challenge for SDC is the team’s geographical spread covering 4 continents, each with a different level of maturity, resulting in a need to align practices but leave room to tailor solutions to local standards.
In order to effectively tackle these obstacles, SDC decided to strengthen its internal capacity for innovative finance, and in particular hybrid deal structuring, enabling its global team members to play an active role locally and spearhead social innovation in SDC’s interventions.
"I really appreciate that both the self-paced and live components were online as I don't think I or others would have made it to Europe this time of the year. It was super well planned and managed, and the content was nicely adjusted to our realities."
Head of Domain Employment and Income
To tackle the challenge, SDC undertook Efiko’s training on Structuring Hybrid Impact Investments, developed hand in hand with the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE). This training starts from the mainstream financial instruments to introduce and showcase the use and set-up of various innovative financial products. It was undertaken to enhance the team’s capacity in impact investment structuring, equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to become familiar with impact finance and fostering catalytic partnerships.
“The overall learning experience was very well structured. The combination of short videos, exercises, real-world examples and case studies made it engaging, and not like a burden on top of an already busy work schedule.”
Bringing People Together
“The online course offered an opportunity to unite with colleagues who are otherwise rarely sharing the same physical workspace,” says Peter. SDC’s colleagues are spread all over the globe and could join the training from Tanzania, Jordan, Bangladesh and Switzerland. “This virtual solution provided an ideal platform for bringing us together and enabling collaboration across different offices,’ Peter continued.
“The case studies covered different types of investors but also impact businesses for which we discussed different financing solutions. This mix was really helpful to get some practical insights and put myself in the shoes of those stakeholders I’m working with daily.”
““Markus’ (the lead trainer) experience expanded my view beyond the usual grant financing, shedding light on the unique needs and growth strategies of social enterprises. I am not directly involved in our investments, but I've gained a deeper understanding through discussions brought forward in the course. This newfound knowledge allows me to connect social enterprises with fitting investors and support structures at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey”, according to Aya. “These insights were extremely instructive given we deal in our daily work with the question of how to best tailor support to maximise their positive social and environmental impact,” Peter added.
“Taking a bird's-eye view of our projects has been enlightening. This perspective has allowed me to better categorise our efforts and explore alternative support options.”
Regional Program Officer
The more you learn, the more you realise how much you don’t know yet! From a 2nd cohort of SDC colleagues to a shortened version of the training for directors, various options are on the table to further internalise key innovative finance skills at SDC.
“In 14 years I have undergone quite a big number of trainings. This one has certainly been among the more interesting ones, which on top is actually tailored to my current job, thus very relevant.”
Head of Domain Employment and Income
Check out the course
Structuring Hybrid Impact Investments