UNICEF financing structure: Supporting social enterprises advancing children rights

June 8, 2018

Project details

Almost a billion children live in countries where the SDGs remain out of reach. They lack access to healthy food and nutrition, proper healthcare, high-quality primary eduction, safe drinking water and sanitation services, as well as protection from violence & harmful practices. Many organizations already work to advance children rights worldwide. However, they face a range of challenges calling for a targeted financing approach. In this scope, UNICEF mandated KOIS to explore innovative mechanisms that could attract capital from diverse sources. The aim of the deployed capital would be to support innovative social enterprises.

The children rights issue calls for a targeted financing approach

Around the world, governments, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies such as UNICEF are working to advance children rights. And an emerging group of social enterprises is joining them.

These companies are developing low-cost schools, producing highly nutritious meals and implementing solutions to provide clean water, among other services.

However, the majority of these faces a range of challenges. These include as competing incentives (i.e. achieving both social impact and healthy financial returns); additional costs related to demonstrating social impact; small scale operations; etc.


These challenges call for a targeted financing approach.


of child-relevant indicators in each country has either insufficient data or is showing insufficient progress to meet global SDG targets by 2030

accelerating children rights’ advancement

UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfil their potential. The organization is interested in leveraging its knowledge base, global presence, network and brand. Additionnally, they want to learn from, promote and scale innovative social enterprise models that benefit children and their families. In parallel, they wish to identify new ways through which traditional donor financing can catalyse impact investment from the private sector and achieve greater impact.

UNICEF mandated KOIS to explore innovative and result-oriented financial mechanisms and structures. KOIS completed a study highlighting mechanisms with the potential to attract capital from diverse sources and support innovative social enterprises. Our research identified five key financing structures with variables including funding source, instruments and UNICEF’s potential role.

UNICEF is now analysing this research to see which structures they could implement.  

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