Results - 25 of at least 45 items found
Jan 13, 2022
Despite near-universal access to financial services in advanced economies, financial exclusion is stubbornly persistent in many emerging markets, leaving huge swaths of low-income populations unbanked or underbanked. FinTech companies, which apply innovative technologies to deliver such services in new ways, have begun to tap into the enormous unmet demand that this represents. These companies are starting to thrive in emerging markets, though regulatory issues, particularly weak consumer protection measures, remain to be resolved in many countries. If these can be overcome, and more progress toward universal access to digital infrastructure can be made, FinTechs will continue to scale and spread.
English | 8 Pages—January—Note 109 | IFC 2022
Dec 17, 2021
In 2018, IFC’s shareholders authorized a capital increase of $5.5 billion, the largest increase in its history. The capital increase was based on a strategy that emphasizes creating markets and mobilizing private capital, and came with ambitious operational undertakings designed to ensure IFC’s place at the forefront of development finance, and to reinvigorate development in the world’s most challenging environments. To help implement these hefty undertakings, measure progress, and motivate staff, IFC took a fresh look at how the Corporation uses operational targets to achieve strategic goals and overhauled its corporate scorecard. Institutions seeking to implement a transformational strategy, as well as impact investors and development finance institutions balancing financial and impact objectives, can learn from how the revamped scorecard balances risk-taking with prudence, innovation with traditional business priorities, and speed with governance, to drive greater investment impact.
English | 8 Pages—December—Note 108 | IFC 2021
Nov 18, 2021
The accelerated use of digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of high-speed Internet access. Yet a large share of adults in emerging markets still live in cities where the availability of high-speed Internet is limited. There is a strong case to be made for municipal broadband networks, which are fully or partially facilitated, built, operated, or financed by local governments, often in partnership with the private sector. There are three basic models for creating and operating these networks, and every network must work in the unique context of the city it will serve. But if they are well implemented, these models can offer digital access to city residents, help close the digital divide, and create opportunities for private sector players in both advanced and emerging markets.
English | 8 Pages—November—Note 107 | IFC 2021
Oct 28, 2021
Deep tech companies—those built on advances in biotechnology, robotics, electronics, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies—aim to solve complex social and environmental challenges. Today the majority of deep tech companies are being launched in developed countries, yet the solutions they can provide are applicable globally. Many of these solutions are especially critical to emerging markets, as the intractable challenges of climate, health, and connectivity, among other issues, disproportionately affect these nations. Addressing these challenges is a strategic priority for development finance institutions and governments worldwide, so financing deep tech companies and boosting deep tech ecosystems in order to deliver new solutions globally is a pressing matter. Doing so, however, requires substantial capital and carries a higher degree of risk than ordinary venture investments. This note examines the process of financing a deep tech company, including the benefits an
English | 8 Pages—October—Special Note 1 | IFC 2021
Oct 14, 2021
At the beginning of the 20th century less than 15 percent of people across the globe lived in cities. This figure has risen to 50 percent (4.4 billion people) today and will exceed 66 percent (7.7 billion) by 2050.1 There is a significant shortfall of housing to meet the needs of people moving to cities, most of whom have limited resources but strong hopes for better educational and employment opportunities. Direct public provision of housing is not affordable for most national governments, so more than 1.6 billion people will struggle to secure housing by 2025. Addressing this under-provision of housing will require connecting capital with low-income urbanizing populations, including solutions to make the private sector more responsive to the investment opportunities that urbanization presents.
English | 8 pages — October — Note 106 | IFC 2021
Aug 2, 2021
A comprehensive IFC assessment of the global impact investing market with estimates of market size, including publicly and privately managed impact assets.
Jul 2, 2021
Blended concessional finance, the combination of commercial finance from the private sector and development finance institutions (DFIs) with concessional finance from public and other sources, is increasingly being used by DFIs to support developmentally important projects where normal DFI or commercial finance is not available because of the high risks involved.
English | 8 pages—July—Note 105 | IFC 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Sharing mobile network infrastructure through specialized companies called towercos is a business model with the potential to accelerate access to quality mobile connectivity for individuals and businesses in emerging markets. A significant number of developing countries have yet to adopt this model, however, and many others continue to struggle with competition issues within their tower markets. This note provides the rationale and policy options for a light regulatory regime that can enable the entry and sustainable development of a dynamic market for towercos in emerging markets. The note also discusses the evolution of the towerco model into small cells and distributed antenna systems, both of which help enable high-speed mobile connectivity technologies like 4G and 5G.
English | 8 pages—June—Note 104 | IFC 2021
May 18, 2021
The number of forcibly displaced persons has been rising in recent years, and many displacements have become protracted. However, public resources available to assist individuals and families have dwindled, exacerbating already strained situations. Amid this backdrop, private sector initiatives have emerged to help create jobs both for displaced people and their host communities. While market-based approaches in refugee contexts are still new, initiatives in several countries have demonstrated the valuable role that private sector firms and investors can play. This note discusses examples of these market-based initiatives, related challenges, and conflict-sensitive approaches for overcoming these challenges. The note also discusses the important role that development agencies can play in de-risking private sector development through market-creating strategies, partnerships, and blended concessional finance.
English | 8 pages—May—Note 103 | IFC 2021
Apr 28, 2021
This note proposes a high-level framework to assess challenges and policy options to enabling private sector-led investment in 5G connectivity in emerging markets. 5G is the latest mobile network technology and it has the potential to provide high-speed Internet connectivity and enable digital transformation across multiple sectors of an economy. The proposed framework leverages industry data to articulate the digital divide and benchmark the enabling environment for 5G connectivity in emerging markets. The note concludes with recommendations on policy options and business strategies, drawing from early experiences in advanced markets and major opportunities and challenges in emerging markets.
English | 8 pages — April —Note 102 | IFC 2021
Apr 15, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the tourism industry particularly hard, affecting livelihoods and exacerbating some pressures on the natural capital resource base. Supporting the tourism sector recovery is an opportunity to Build Back Better, ensuring that business investments lead to a sustainable and resilient shared-growth pathway that is good for tourism and the natural capital on which it depends. Further sustainable management of the Blue Economy could more than double its economic contribution to global GDP. Therefore, the “new normal” must deepen the consideration of Blue Natural Capital and its dynamic relationship with economic sectors across coastal landscapes and markets. The experience of the State of Palawan in the Philippines is explored in this note. It serves as a useful model for weighing the opportunities and challenges typical of coastal tourism areas and exploring natural dependencies therein.
English | 8 pages — April —Note 101 | IFC 2021
Apr 12, 2021
This 100th EM Compass note explains why it is important to “create markets” to promote development, and how development finance institutions and impact fund managers can draw on IFC’s Anticipated Impact Measurement and Monitoring system to assess the contribution of their investments to both market creation and project outcomes.
English | 8 pages—March—Note 100 | IFC 2021
Mar 19, 2021
The latest trends in AI and how investors, clients, and governments can harness its full potential in emerging markets while minimizing its risks is explored.
English | 148 pages | IFC 2021
Mar 8, 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable firms and individuals in emerging markets, especially women and low-income populations. These groups faced significant challenges to growth and prosperity before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated their plights, resulting in even wider global inequities, including a further increase in global financial and digital divides. The private sector has already begun to respond to the crisis—in sectors such as digital infrastructure, trade, power, and tourism, and with methods that cut across sectors, such as inclusive business models, disruptive technologies, social bonds, and private equity. This proves that businesses can play a vital role in amplifying the public and humanitarian response to the crisis, while supporting recovery and driving strategic growth going forward, and setting the stage for “building back better” post crisis. This report highlights opportunities for businesses in emerging markets t
English | 136 pages | IFC 2021
Feb 28, 2021
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments, development institutions, and private companies are trying to find mechanisms to prevent the loss of essential economic activity under difficult and uncertain market conditions. In this context, blended concessional finance deployed by DFIs is already playing an even greater role than in the recent past, as it can help bridge critical financing gaps by placing important projects within the risk tolerance of private sector investors and DFIs, despite great market and financial uncertainty. Blended concessional finance will play a critical role to ensure that the response to the pandemic remains focused on the most difficult markets and, as efforts to rebuild are put in motion, the rebuilding is done in an inclusive and climate and gender-smart manner.
English | 8 pages—February—Note 99 | IFC 2021
Feb 3, 2021
Why and when to use blended concessional finance to support private sector projects is outlined by IFC, in a report drawing on its two decades of experience.
English | 64 pages | IFC 2021
Dec 23, 2020
Textile and apparel manufacturing is a critical creator of formalized jobs, a well-known path to industrialization, and an enabler of value chain relationships that modernize economies and make them more complex. Today, value chains that support the textile and apparel industries are rapidly evolving. They are integrating new technologies, embracing workplace innovations, adopting sustainable efficiencies, and inventing products and processes to meet the changing demands of global consumers and markets.
English | 8 pages—December—Note 96 | IFC 2020
Dec 1, 2020
This note explores the factors in specific tourism destinations that contribute to pandemic-related vulnerability, as well as the factors that support the resilience of the tourism sector. Examining all these factors together provides a snapshot of the countries as well as the subsectors that are most likely to recover first, as well as those that will require greater support to weather and recover from the crisis.
English | 8 pages—December—Note 95 | IFC 2020
Nov 20, 2020
Deep tech companies aim to address the world’s biggest challenges. These include providing Internet access to the unconnected, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, significantly increasing productivity gains across industries, and helping to solve many other intractable problems, particularly in emerging market and developing economies. A deep tech company brings transformative technology from the lab to the market, and democratized research infrastructure and increased available funding has led to the rise of deep tech companies globally, including in emerging markets. Yet commercialization is critical to realizing the benefits of deep tech solutions, and deep tech firms often struggle to successfully commercialize their breakthroughs.
English | 8 pages—November—Note 94 | IFC 2020
Oct 23, 2020
Nature’s current decline, underpinned by unsustainable consumption and production patterns, population dynamics, deforestation, and land use change, is a clear risk to business, markets, and society. The way that businesses measure, value, relate to, and account for the interaction between nature and people must evolve, and quickly. This note underscores the urgency of action and shares ways companies can use natural capital approaches to help maintain both nature and their ongoing role in advancing prosperity and development in emerging markets.
English | 8 pages — October — Note 92 | IFC 2020
Sep 8, 2020
This report explores the latest AI applications and trends in emerging markets and includes several examples of how AI is expanding opportunities and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It also sheds light on how investors, clients, and governments can harness its full potential while minimizing its risks—when managed effectively and with safeguards in place, AI can facilitate private investment to reduce poverty and improve lives at a pace inconceivable only a decade ago.
English | 117 pages | IFC 2020
Aug 28, 2020
Social bonds have become an increasingly popular fixed-income product since the Social Bond Principles were published in 2017, and their growth and popularity have accelerated in recent months due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting need for new funding avenues to address the unforeseen economic and social disruptions. Since the outbreak of the crisis, global issuances of social bonds have risen considerably, and an increasing number of market participants have turned to IFC, a prolific and experienced issuer of social bonds, for advice on how to set up Social Bond Programs and Social Bond Frameworks. The hope now is that social bonds can become a significant method for financing projects that mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the current health crisis, and that the growing use of and interest in these bonds can be sustained post-crisis.
English | 8 pages – August – Note 89 | IFC 2020
Aug 24, 2020
This note highlights the East Asian lessons that African nations, and Ethiopia in particular, are putting to use. These include focusing on competitiveness in select industries, acquiring know-how from global leaders, seeking foreign partners and investment, and developing a national strategy to create the industries of the future. The application of these lessons is also of interest to private investors, as it can allow them to identify the economies utilizing Economic Fitness analyses and thus offer opportunities for growth and investment.
English | 8 pages – August – Note 88 | IFC 2020
Jul 27, 2020
As advances in machine learning, computer vision, and robotics help manufacturers around the world improve their processes and produce new and more complex products, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral tool of modern manufacturing, and one that is increasingly important to the industry’s future. By combining large volumes of data with the computing power to simulate human thinking, AI is increasing the efficiency, capacity, and complexity of factory floors, and is introducing robotics, the Internet of Things, and other cutting-edge innovations to manufacturing value chains across the globe.
English | 8 pages – July – Note 87 | IFC 2020
Jun 23, 2020
Achieving gender equality will require significant amounts of accurate data about the situations and struggles of women and girls. Globally, however, there is a major gap in data that is disaggregated by sex, and this gap often renders women’s societal, cultural, and economic contributions and obstacles practically invisible. It can also exacerbate existing gender divides, feeding and reinforcing biases in social programs, access to financial and other services, economic opportunities, and even development programs designed to address gender inequality. Part of the solution may be in the form of big data, which, if used effectively, can provide the volume of data needed to portray women and their situations accurately, which in turn can inform the creation of evidence-based solutions.
English | 8 Pages - June - Note 86 | IFC 2020