The Covid-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented crisis posing a threat to public health and severely affecting societies around the globe, but the way they have been impacted varies greatly.
Further to its contribution to several initiatives in Belgium and India, and struck by the significant variation of impact of the pandemic on communities across the regions where it’s active, Sofina has launched the Sofina Covid Solidarity Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.
In line with the aspirations of its stakeholders and the company’s strategic direction, the Sofina Covid Solidarity Fund wishes to address the adverse consequences of the global Covid-19 pandemic on two key issues related to its focus sectors: specific challenges in healthcare systems and services and the digital gap in education.
At the initiative of its management team, Sofina pledged €20M in commitments – with additional contributions being made by its management team and members of the Board – to support selected projects through the Sofina Covid Solidarity Fund over a targeted two-year life span ending by mid-2022.
Our Funding Priorities – Digital Education and Healthcare
Sofina’s investment philosophy is characterised by the belief that knowledge of a sector contributes to the value added by the investor. In line with this guiding principle, the Fund will focus on themes which are core to Sofina’s activities such as Education, Digital Transformation and Healthcare.
The Fund will provide grants for a min. amount of €500,000 to non-profit initiatives, organisations and projects that aim to address the following key issues aggravated by the pandemic:
- The Digital Gap in Education
- Specific Challenges in Healthcare Systems and Services related to the pandemic
The contributions of the Fund will mostly be directed towards the geographies in which Sofina is locally present and active, with a focus on Western Europe, India and Singapore.
The Digital Gap in Education
During the crisis, children across the globe are deprived of access to education. This worsens the inequalities in education outcomes for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
In the current environment, digitisation is one of the solutions to bridge this educational gap.
The Fund aims to help reducing this digital divide by supporting non-profit initiatives in the sector.
Challenges to Healthcare Systems and Services
The challenges the pandemic poses to healthcare systems globally are manifold and difficult to overcome. Related issues range from shortages of medical equipment and limited capacities to restricted access to healthcare professionals during the confinement period, which significantly increases the health risk for wide parts of the global population.
The Fund will sponsor initiatives focussing on health prevention and facilitating access to the first line of care. It will direct its efforts towards populations and regions severely impacted by the crisis.
As the Fund aims to make a meaningful contribution to mitigating the adverse consequences of the crisis, the measurability of the positive impact represents a key decision-criterion within the selection process for sponsored initiatives.
The Sofina Covid Solidarity Fund will strive to measure and communicate the results and achievements of the initiatives and projects sponsored by the Fund.
Our Cooperation with the King Baudouin Foundation
The Fund with a limited lifetime of two years is set up within the King Baudouin Foundation, one of Europe’s largest foundations, which was created in 1976 and is since supporting projects and individuals who are committed to creating a better society in Belgium and internationally.
The Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, will be overseen by a committee, chaired by Mr. Pierre Gurdjian, and composed of independent members and representatives of the King Baudouin Foundation, as well as representatives of Sofina. The committee is responsible for allocating the grants in accordance with the outlined mandate of the Fund and the statutes of the King Baudouin Foundation.
How does it work?
The €20M Fund will be financed by Sofina and members of its Board and management team. The Fund will have a two-year lifetime.
Individuals and organisations can also contribute to the Sofina Covid Solidarity Fund.
For more details on the Fund, please refer to the Frequently asked questions.
To submit initiatives or projects that could be supported by the Sofina Covid Solidarity Fund, please prepare your request following the Request for Projects template and provide it to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For any other questions, we invite you to use the same email address.