Impact-Linked Fund for Education

Impact-Linked Fund for Education (ILF for Education)

Despite strong progress over the past decades, ensuring an inclusive, quality education (SDG 4) for vulnerable children and youth across the globe is far from reality. The economic and social crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic aggravated this alarming gap.  Even before the pandemic, high-impact enterprises already were important drivers of change, since they cover the unmet needs of students and teachers and offer high-quality, free, and often technology-enabled education solutions such as mobile-phone-based learning or artificial intelligence assistance.

Getting access to capital is a challenge for these enterprises, though. This is why the Impact-Linked Fund for Education will provide suitable, innovative financing instruments in the form of Social Impact Incentives and Impact-Linked Loans to high-impact organizations offering inclusive and equitable education for vulnerable children and youth in MENA and West Africa Region. In addition, a substantial amount of the fund’s target volume will be reserved for technical assistance, research and advocacy measures, which will further boost the effectiveness of this innovative approach.

In December 2021, this open-ended fund secured commitments of CHF 6 million from Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in a first closing.

-> read the press release

ILF Education Partners

General criteria:


The organization must be operational for at least three years and operate in one of the target countries (see below). In order to be eligible for SIINC, organizations must be seeking a repayable investment (e.g. debt, equity, etc.) in parallel. There are no specific additional requirements for the Impact-Linked Loans.

Target countries: West Africa and MENA (Middle East and North Africa). More specifically, the following countries are in scope: West Africa: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger / MENA: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Business model

Although there are no specific constraints regarding the legal form, the organizations need to have a business model and generate revenues from their activities.

Financial sustainability

The objective of the ILF for Education program is to support organizations that will continue to generate positive impact long after the SIINC payments or the Impact-Linked Loan have ended. Thus, the organization must have either already achieved financial sustainability, or must have a clear plan for achieving it (through market-based commercial channels, public contracting, or other self-sustaining revenue generation activities).

Impact measurement

The support provided to the organization in this program takes the form of time-bound outcomes-based payments (for SIINC) or interest rate reductions (for Impact-Linked Loans), granted to incentivize positive social impact. In order to design a realistic incentive schedule, it is necessary to have baseline data related to the impact generated by the organization. In that respect, there are two possible scenarios:

(1) The organization already has baseline data of systematically tracked and reported impact indicators, which can act as a basis for structuring the SIINC payments or the Impact-Linked Loan.

  • The organization is immediately eligible to obtain impact-linked financing.

(2) The organization doesn’t yet have this track record, but is able and willing to put systems in place to develop it, and then continue monitoring the organization’s impact over time.

  • The ILF for Education will provide TA (technical assistance) to high-potential companies in the form of training and support in developing personalized impact measurement systems. Such companies will then be eligible to obtain Impact-Linked Finance either via an accelerated process, or through a subsequent call for proposal, scheduled for July/August 2022.

Impact focus

Organizations that target vulnerable children and youth will be of particular interest. Organizations that do not have a specific impact focus are also eligible if they prove to be willing and able to deliver positive social outcomes for such target populations. The focus of the ILF for Education window lies around improving access to basic education, and learning outcomes of pre-primary, primary and secondary students (K12), including non-formal basic education opportunities (eg. accelerated or catch-up education, remedial education etc.). The window is also open to organizations contributing to bridging education gaps for youth and adults on skills such as literacy/numeracy.

While a technological aspect as part of the organization’s business model is appreciated (EdTech companies), we also encourage providers of non-technological products and services to apply as well.

Ecosystem mapping report:


Application details:

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Application Leaflet & Form in English:

Dépliant & Formulaire de Candidature en Francais:

Preview the application questionnaire (in case you want to prepare offline)

Prévisualisez le questionnaire (si vous souhaitez vous préparer hors ligne)

Additional documents:

-> ILF for Education Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions around ILF for Education, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions document above. For other questions, e.g. around your application status, please contact us at

Did you miss our webinar?

In this webinar recording from March 2022, we present the Impact-Linked Fund for Education, describe its eligibility criteria, selection process and offer room for Q+A. Watch it now!

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