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First crowdfunded Development Impact Bond looks for $2.5mln

In what will be the first ever crowdfunded Development Impact Bond, Homestrings, the investment portal, is hosting a $2.5 million issue for The Cameroon Cataract Performance Bond, a Fred Hollows Foundation-led conditional grant contract to launch and operate Magrabi-ICO Cameroon Eye Hospital (MICEH), that will provide cataract surgeries in the West African country.

Development Impact Bonds allow programs which are sponsored by donors or host country governments to raise upfront funding from private investors, who earn a return – paid by the sponsor – if the program achieves certain pre-agreed goals.

In 2013, the Fred Hollows Foundation, having identified the potential for Development Impact Bonds, engaged D Capital to design the bond to raise start-up capital for MICEH, and the initiative attracted the African Eye Foundation and Sightsavers to join the opportunity, thereby creating the Cameroon Cataract Performance bond coalition. In addition, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has agreed to be the main outcome funder for the deal.

Commenting on the Development Impact Bond, Lachlan McDonald, Senior Economist at the Fred Hollows Foundation was quoted as saying “We expect that the Cataract Bond will spur new investment deals of a similar nature and help us further spread the social enterprise cataract hospital model to new areas where it is needed.”

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