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Sports and finance for development (SF4D): White Paper launch

Two women holding up peace signs
Copyrights: GAME

Sports and finance for development (SF4D): White Paper launch

Applying the rigor of innovative finance mechanisms and leveraging Switzerland’s rich ecosystem of sports organizations and sustainable finance actors to sustain and scale-up sport, physical activity and active play interventions.

Two Swiss entrepreneurs have come together to advocate the use of innovative finance mechanisms for the benefit of sports for development (S4D) and address some of the most pressing needs of global youth today: health, well-being, peace, education, employability, gender equality and more.

It is not by chance that this White Paper is launched today, as 23 June marks Olympic Day across the world and stands like a beacon of light for vulnerable kids whose future can be made brighter through sport, physical activity and active play. Sport has been recognized as an important enabler of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and it is now time to leverage its universal power to accelerate the international community’s journey to meet the UN 2030 Agenda.

Today, the COVID-19 crisis has driven more young people into deprivation than ever and shows the important role that sport and active play can have to promote inclusion, empowerment and healthy lifestyles in front of this sanitary crisis. However, a paradigm shift is needed, not only in the minds of big donors, international aid agencies and local governments, but also within the finance community.

The funding gap for meeting the SDGs cannot be filled through philanthropic capital and government aid alone. The most effective players and intervention models in the S4D community deserve increased support to transform more young people’s lives. The White Paper explores and introduces a number of best practices and experienced players in S4D as well as innovative financial mechanisms which have been road-tested in other development fields, such as health or education. For the authors, the documented success of some innovative financial instruments such as social impact bonds or social impact incentives is an invitation to take S4D beyond pure philanthropy and work around the first S4D Outcome Fund.

Following the publication of this SF4D White Paper, the authors seek to engage sports organizations, investors and venture philanthropists to select the most effective interventions based on real data and scale them up by measuring and rewarding social outcomes. For Philippe Furrer, founder of insPoweredBy:

“This White Paper stands as a symbol of transversal thinking and as the coming together of the best of two worlds: Patrick has been active all his professional life in international development and sustainable finance, specializing in impact investment and the design of new financial instruments to leverage capital with a purpose. Whereas my professional life has been marked by international sport, major events and youth, and I have always been passionate about the power of sport to transform the lives of young people in every possible context and country. It is now time for governments and funders to consider sport as more than sheer entertainment or a business opportunity.”

For Patrick Elmer, founder of iGravity:

“Switzerland is a natural nerve center for an initiative that aims to bring together the worlds of sport, development and finance. Already home to many of the world’s leading NGOs including UN agencies, as well as international sports federations and financial institutions, Switzerland provides an exciting environment for such an endeavor to thrive. We now hope to gather a number of forward-thinking partners to design, test and grow new forms of funding mechanisms to sustain and scale-up some of the best S4D organizations which have been doing an incredible job out there, sometimes for decades, but often with limited and shaky resources.”

The authors would like to thank UEFA Foundation for Children for their support in developing this White Paper.

Download your free version of the White Paper:

Join the authors in a SportWorks Webinar on Tuesday 30 June 2020, 2pm (CET): Register here


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Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 11:40