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GDI’s 2023 Year in Review and What’s Ahead for 2024

March 28, 2024   Alice Gugelev, Andrew Stern, Suvranil Majumdar, Warren Ang

We are hopeful.

In a year of daunting news – devastating conflict, sliding toward climate catastrophe, inclusive societies at risk around the world – we remain optimistic. We’ve now been at this for almost 10 years. As of last year, we’ve launched almost 70 initiatives, more than 25 of which have already graduated, and raised almost three-quarters of a billion dollars for these efforts. As our portfolio matures, we are starting to see what we’ve always intended for the GDI model – impact at scale.

Working Toward Impact at Scale

In Africa, Aceli is building an inclusive agricultural finance market, moving from catalyzing one to almost three loans per day, many of which are climate-smart and gender- and youth-inclusive. In India, the Migrants Resilience Collaborative has helped 3 million migrants access social protection and is on a pathway to reach 10 million. Expanding from 5 to more than 30 cities, our Global Opportunity Youth Network is creating a place-based employment model for youth often excluded from opportunity. And at a global level, Emergent facilitated its first trades worth $60m to protect forests with Costa Rica and Ghana, opening up a pathway for other countries to reverse deforestation.

Addressing Current and Emerging Challenges

At the same time, we continue to search for new social impact solutions to address the current and emerging crises. We’re building a climate adaptation and resilience portfolio with initiatives in resilient water infrastructure development, circularity and waste management, and bamboo value chains, among other areas. We’re exploring how to scale efforts to create more inclusive societies, from a dignity restoration platform in Detroit to a youth violence prevention program in Liberia and Nigeria, to a cooperation intervention to bridge differences in the US, Israel, or India. And, we are exploring ways to address some of the human consequences of conflict and fragile states, particularly child trauma.

Building the GDI Way

Behind all of this, we continue to build GDI as a great platform to serve entrepreneurs and launch transformational development ventures. We formally launched our GDI South Asia partner in India, consolidating already existing teams and initiatives to better serve the local needs. In November, we brought our global team of almost 75 people from around the world together in Kenya to connect, learn, and share approaches around what we are calling the “GDI Way”. At its core, it is our unique approach to creating impact at scale through systems change with a comprehensive incubation approach and accountability for achieving results together – and anchored in a set of values where we believe humble, diligent work can create change.

We remain hopeful and look forward to partnering in the year ahead.