New LLC will harness impact investing for refugees
June 10, 2020 | Washington, DC The Anera Board has approved the creation of a wholly-owned limited liability corporation to attract impact investments that open opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Impact investing has emerged in recent years as an important, growing vehicle for making capital available for social good.
The for-profit LLC will complement Anera’s human development mission through additional finance pathways, attracting development finance investments for greater sustainability and scaling of Anera’s projects.
“This is an important new chapter in Anera’s 52-year history. The ability now for Anera to attract impact investments means that we can scale up our successful human development work,” says Anera President and CEO Sean Carroll. “The needs remain great, but the opportunities are growing too, and some of our projects bring in revenue, which means that investors in that work can get a social return and possibly also a financial one.”
Ahmad Ashkar, an Anera board member and founder and CEO of the Hult Prize, says:
“Development is entering a completely new era, where business and entrepreneurship serve as critical anchors to human development. By leveraging Anera’s long history and relationships on the ground in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, we are in a fortunate position to unlock a potentially unlimited pool of investment capital targeting youth and job creation that will allow us to do more with, and for, the people we serve.”
The formation of the LLC breaks new ground for Anera, a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to providing aid and opportunity to Palestinian refugees and neighboring communities for over five decades. Through the LLC, Anera aims to scale its development projects in ways that may not be possible through a reliance on traditional donor funding models alone.
The new LLC structure allows Anera to tap into new forms of capital that would otherwise not be available, and aligns Anera’s programs with the future of giving to diversify our funding and scale our impact. Areas of Anera’s work that offer potential opportunities for impact investment include career accelerator training in software coding, agriculture, economic cooperatives, early childhood development, vocational training, community infrastructure and solid waste management.
The world of finance for international development is changing. Donor fatigue in international development is an ongoing concern. Public and private social impact investment – made to generate social benefits alongside financial returns – represents possibly the largest, mostly-untapped, available funding for nonprofits. This growing field likely offers the only way to reach the sustainable development goals.
Sean Carroll is available for a limited number of interviews.
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For 52 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.