IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, issued its first Kangaroo social bond yesterday, raising 300 million AUD (233 million USD equivalent) for an innovative program that benefits women entrepreneurs and low-income people in emerging markets and conflict-affected states.
The issuance is part of IFC’s Social Bond Program, which was launched in March 2017 with a 500 million global benchmark bond denominated in U.S. dollars. The program gives investors the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of people living in developing countries, and at the same time enjoy a financial return on their investment.
Proceeds from the social bond support projects that provide finance to low-income people, including buying from smallholder farmers, or offering housing, education, and affordable healthcare. The funds will also be used to help lending to women-owned enterprises, and fund projects such as those that lend mainly to women entrepreneurs, including refugee women fleeing conflict.