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Impact Investing in Frontier Markets

When we think of global health security, we cannot look at it as a single issue.

I believe we have to look at the entire well-being of the individual.

There is a strong link between health and economics.

People need access to health services in order to lead productive lives.

And they need to work to afford these services and contribute to the economic well-being of their families and communities.

That is why Canada is working with Sarona Asset Management to mobilize private sector funds and deploy them to grow small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, in emerging markets.

SMEs create two out of every three jobs in emerging markets.

They foster innovation and provide important goods and services to enable people to lead healthy and productive lives.

However, in order for SMEs to grow, they need access to technology.

They need links to markets.

And they need access to capital.

This last point is particularly important.

Financing needs are high.

The value of the gap in credit financing for informal and formal SMEs in developing economies is over $2 trillion.

This initiative helps donors connect international and local investors with SMEs through intermediaries.

And it deploys investments in a way that helps to strengthen the local financial sector.

For example, Sarona invests through local private equity funds.

Through its partnership with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates, it also matches 20 experienced North American private equity managers as mentors with managers in frontier and emerging markets.

To read Minister Paradis' full keynote address, click here.