Working Upstream

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IFC has embarked on an ambitious new growth strategy to stimulate investment activity to address complex development challenges in the developing world. We want to be the catalyst for billions of dollars of new private investment that generates jobs and opportunities. We’re especially focused on attracting investment in low-income countries and fragile and conflict affected situations because that’s where our intervention and our creativity is needed the most.

As part of that strategy, we are committing time and resources to create, deepen, and expand markets and imagine, design, and implement investment projects. We have a name for this approach – it’s called working Upstream. It means creating opportunities for private investment in developing countries. This can be accomplished as quickly as in a few months or take several years. It means collaborating with partners in the private sector, governments, civil society, the World Bank Group and other development institutions to identify pathways that will unlock more private investment.

Working Upstream means being an entrepreneur. It means being creative and innovative. And it means connecting the dots that no one has linked before.

Upstream projects must be consistent with the developmental priorities of IFC’s client countries. They must identify the relevant market/investment gaps that currently dissuade investment. They must have a clear line of sight to private investments in the next five years. And when a project leads to an investment, it must have a defined, measurable development impact. Think of upstream work as strategic business development in markets or sectors where ready-to-finance projects are not yet available – and where significant development gaps exist.

Please consider joining us in this exciting period of our history. We are scaling up our Upstream work in dramatic fashion. We expect to hire 200 people in the next several months whose primary job will be to create opportunities for private investments in developing countries.