The circular economy is a new way of creating value, prosperity and productivity. Implicit in nearly all of the Sustainable Development Goals is the potential to integrate Circular Economy thinking to all industrial development efforts throughout global and domestic value chains that are populated by manufacturing SMEs in developed and developing countries as well as in transition economies. SMEs represent the engine of inclusive and sustainable industrialization with their flexible business models that are more resilient to market fluctuations and shocks than large scale businesses. Their employment creation capacity ensures inclusiveness and mobilizing their grassroots innovation potential is what is needed to trigger and maintain green industrialization.
One major challenge to this vision is the financing gap, particularly access to medium and long term investment financing for implementation of sustainability measures. However, the large number of SMEs in need of relatively smaller amounts of medium and longer term green investment financing are underrepresented in global investment portfolios due to the larger costs of processing and monitoring per unit of investment and therefore miss out on the opportunity to integrate their businesses into the Circular Economy framework. An immediate solution to this is to create circular economy investment funds with the explicit purpose of representing this large market share in order to integrate their contributions to the circular economy and ensure both inclusive and sustainable industrial development, as well as UNIDOs mission aligned with SDG-9. This reality calls for an SDG Accelerator Fund that achieves exactly that.
The purpose of this project is to set up the proposed funding framework to facilitate institutional investment in SMEs for circular transformations while cost-consciously verifying impacts achieved, where UNIDO acts as the verification service provider.
It is expected to create the following finance innovations:
An SDG Accelerator Fund facilitated by UNIDOs investment community partner.
Mechanisms and procedures that deploy blockchain technologies for cost effective. measurement and verification of impact achieved with sustainability investments, that will also be linked to the Organizations IRPFUNIDO, blockchain and investment community partners.
An SME grant facility and financial instruments for capacity building in implementing circular business practices at the level of SMEs, accompanying UNIDO TC activities operated by UNIDO.
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