Noah Beckwith is an impact investment specialist focused on inclusive business, social and environmental fund management, development impact assessment and emerging-markets private equity in the SME sector. He is the Senior Impact Specialist advising Credit Suisse on its impact mandate for the Asia Impact Investment Fund I L.P, based in Singapore. Other current mandates include advising UNDP’s environmental finance unit on inclusive SDG-focused investment vehicles, and assisting the Government of Australia in structuring its first impact fund of funds. In addition, he is a regular guest lecturer at NYU, and has taught at Yale, the Marshall School at USC and St Gallen University, Switzerland.
Prior to working independently, Noah led fund structuring, development impact assessment and business principles (ESG) at Aureos Capital, a global SME private equity fund manager. Previously, he spent two years with the Commonwealth Development Corporation, and four years with the Economist Group as a Senior Economist for the Africa/Pacific regions of the Economist Intelligence Unit, contributing regularly to the Economist newspaper on African and Asian affairs. He has advised many clients on impact investment and private equity funds, including ADB, IADB, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild (Paris/Geneva), Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Wolfensohn Capital Group, the Clinton Foundation and Social Finance Ltd, DFID, CDC and FMO, among many others. He recently published Inclusive Business Financing: Where Commercial Opportunity and Sustainability Converge, sponsored by Credit Suisse, ADB and the Swedish government.
Noah graduated from Oxford University with an MA in English and Modern Languages, and from the London School of Economics with an MSc in Development Economics.
This course assesses the role of inclusive business (IB) as a strategy for economic growth, private-‐sector development and poverty reduction, and the two main IB financing modalities: bank debt and private equity. Analytical frameworks are provided for understanding how IB strategies incorporate and affect the poor as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors and employees. In this context, important distinctions are drawn between IB financing and sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies; socially-‐responsible investing (SRI); and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Using case studies from selected developing economies, we take stock of the successes and failures of financial institutions and private equity funds in IB financing. In assessing modifications and solutions needed to boost capital deployment in IBs, the key debates in this emerging discipline are considered and placed in the wider context of impact investing. You will learn to identify and interrogate IB strategies and determine the most appropriate—and likely successful—financing modalities for them. The course will enable you to identify and prioritize key components and risk factors when designing an IB lending program or private equity fund.