As published on salaamgateway.com, Monday November 11, 2019.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, 11 November 2019 – As the responsible finance market grows, SMEs and startups are able to focus on the impact they create. In doing so, they can contribute more impact proportional to their size, and align it with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants in a responsible finance roundtable organised by the RFI Foundation, hosted by Luxembourg for Finance and sponsored by DDCAP Group held on Wednesday discussed practical approaches they are taking.
Included in the roundtable was a case study presented by DDCAP Group where they presented interim conclusions from developing and implementing a strategy to bring more intentionality to their sustainable and responsible actions (SRA). The case study served as a call-to-action to others to recognize where they have a unique ability to make a positive impact through their business. DDCAP’s efforts show the possibility of collaborative action between the conventional financial community and Islamic Finance, with a view to meeting the targets of the UN SDG
A key conclusion of the roundtable in the morning sessions was to highlight how Islamic Finance SMEs and those within the wider halal economy have the ability to use their freedom and agility to highlight the need for sustainable and responsible practices across the wider industry. By setting an example, SMEs can demonstrate the value proposition of sustainable and responsible business practices and those leading the way have the opportunity to instill confidence by creating a pathway for others to follow, giving SME’s the potential to create momentum.
The roundtable continued after a lunch with presentation of case studies of impact-oriented startups showing the opportunity to combine positive social or environmental impact with good business outcomes.
Blake Goud, CEO of the RFI Foundation commented: “Although the largest share of Islamic finance assets are based outside of Europe, there has been significant adoption of responsible finance in Europe. Our mission of promoting convergence makes it important to be represented in key markets for responsible finance, in order to showcase examples of SMEs in responsible finance leading the way to show how to combine success in business with a positive impact.”
Eleanor de Rosmorduc, Senior Advisor at Luxembourg for Finance said: “We were pleased to be able to host the RFI Foundation’s Responsible Finance Roundtable, and appreciated the opportunity to support an event that encourages free discussion between professionals engaged in impact projects on either side of the Islamic/conventional finance divide. Luxembourg’s position as the leading market in Europe for sustainable investment funds makes it a natural partner for SDG-linked initiatives. The Grand Duchy helps to raise assets for sustainable projects by offering promoters a range of internationally recognised ESG labels, a listing on the dedicated Luxembourg Green Exchange and facilities designed to encourage and accelerate entrepreneurial effort.”
Stella Cox, CBE, Managing Director of DDCAP Group added: “We appreciate the opportunity to share DDCAP’s experience as a member of the RFI Foundation in adopting sustainable and responsible actions, and we hope that our experience empowers other SMEs to look at how they can take action. Responsible finance is about doing the right thing, even when it’s not the easiest thing to do. We were excited by the discussion with others who share our enthusiasm to set out an intention to create a positive impact in responsible finance."
The roundtable in Luxembourg follows a similar responsible finance roundtable organized by the RFI Foundation, hosted by DLA Piper which featured keynote remarks by Dr. Jonathan Ercanbrack, the Chair of Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law of University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Reza Zain Jaufeerally moderated both roundtables in Brussels & Luxembourg.