Chapter 4: Tackling the global education crisis: the UBS Optimus Foundation’s use of social finance
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With an estimated USD 2.5 trillion annual funding gap to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is becoming increasingly clear that many of the world’s most pressing problems cannot be solved without alternative sources of funding. Social finance has the potential to draw additional private capital to drive positive social change by offering new solutions, striking the right balance between risk and reward whilst maximising social impact. Philanthropy can help build the ecosystem for innovative finance and pilot new instruments such as Development Impact Bonds and other blended finance options. This chapter presents UBS Optimus Foundation’s approach to social finance in the education sector along with a description of existing initiatives and programmes the Foundation is supporting. Through the ecosystem-building framework, UBS Optimus Foundation’s approach demonstrates the potential of bringing private capital funding into the education sector that can catalyse innovations to tackle some of the complex problems within the sector.