The United Nations children’s agency says it is making venture capital investments in emerging market tech start-ups to create solutions for some of the most pressing problems facing children today.
UNICEF’s senior adviser on innovation Chris Fabian said Tuesday that the first portfolio of investments includes five start-ups from Nicaragua, Bangladesh, South Africa and Pakistan. He said UNICEF hopes to invest in 20-40 more start-ups in 2017.
Under the program, each company receives between $50,000 and $100,000 in seed capital to develop open-source technology solutions.
Fabian said that while UNICEF doesn’t take an equity stake in the companies the return on investment comes in the form of creative solutions that could be applied to problems facing children around the globe.