A group of philanthropic organizations have collaborated with the charity mothers2mothers to launch a Social Impact Bond for Early Childhood Development (ECD) in South Africa. The Impact Bond Innovation Fund or IBIF – the first of its kind in the region – has been achieved by collaboration between The Bertha Centre, Volta Capital, and the Western Cape Foundation for Community Work.
Mothers2mothers has previously been financially supported by Ragnar Horn. The organization works to strengthen African healthcare infrastructure, education and access, and puts empowerment of women at the heart of this work.
Funding and Philanthropy: The Management of the Program
An international partnership of philanthropic organizations has made the project possible. LGT Venture Philanthropy partnered with local investors Future Growth Asset Managers and Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, with match funding provided by ApexHi Charitable Trust.
LGT VP and The Standard Bank also both took part in the effort, providing start-up funding before the launch; over US$500,000 of private finding will nurture the Early Childhood Development program through its first three years. This powerful coalition of partners seeks to provide health and education outcomes for South African children which are sustainable in the long-term.
Supporting the Crucial Early Years
Early Childhood Development – the years from conception to around age six – is recognized as a crucial stage in the development of people, often determining how well a person will develop in later life. Despite this, funding for this area is often limited when compared to primary and secondary education funding. It was the recognition of this funding gap which led to the establishment of the IBIF.
Investing In Positive Change With Social Impact Bonds
In September 2010, UK-based Social Finance Ltd launched the first Social Impact Bonds, or SIBs. There are financial instruments which encourage investment in the achievement of socially beneficial outcomes by delivering returns to investors when specific outcomes are met. Social Impact Bonds provide the opportunity for coalitions – such as the one described above – to come together and provide funding supporting social benefits while achieving a return on investment. In the UK, there are more than 30 SIBs working to do just that.