Blended finance, Impact Investment Summit, Addressing system inequality

Blended finance, Impact Investment Summit, Addressing system inequality

Message from IIA CEO 
Welcome to IIA’s quarterly newsletter.

In this edition, you’ll read about the inaugural meeting of the G20 Global Blended Finance Alliance to examine how blended finance can drive sustainable development and positive change in the Asia-Pacific region.

We’re keen to connect with many of you at the 2024 Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific in Sydney, starting on Wednesday. As a supporting partner, this annual event closely aligns with our commitment to fostering dialogue and innovation in impact investing.

And, I was fortunate to participate in a NSW Government innovation roundtable focused on addressing system inequality, and to share IIA’s insights on investing through a gender lens.

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with you and working towards a future where every dollar invested builds a better world.

Best wishes

David Hetherington, CEO
Impact Investing Australia

Global Blended Finance Alliance

Impact leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region met in Bali recently to collaborate on blended finance, as a way to help address the US$4+ trillion annual financing gap to meet the SDGs, particularly in China and the ASEAN countries. This was the inaugural meeting of the Global Blended Finance Alliance (GBFA), which was established under Indonesia’s G20 presidency. 

The goal of blended finance is to create acceptable risk-return profiles to mobilise private sector investment alongside concessional capital to SDG projects, and ASEAN represents a diverse socio-economic region with a range of challenges, from the gap in energy infrastructure to climate change. 

The summit explored two key levers for change:

  • mobilisation of private capital; and
  • impact transparency, which can transform information available to investors, and help increase the flow of investment in Emerging Market and Developing Economies. 

The good news is ASEAN blended finance transactions are growing annually. According to the Convergence Historical Deals Database (HDD), there have been more than 120 blended transactions targeting ASEAN (in part or full), representing aggregate committed financing of US$24.2 billion. 

Our CEO, David Hetherington, along with fellow panellists from the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), provided his observations at the GSG’s workshop on Impact Transparency in Blended Finance. The discussion underscored impact transparency as a critical step forward in mobilising catalytic capital and advancing sustainable development in Southeast Asia.

Other takeaways from the summit included: 

  • Blended finance is needed to address the global challenges we’re facing, and public capital and development finance alone is not enough. We need to find ways to address these challenges with urgency and scale.
  • Impact transparency helps to ensure the delivery of real impact from innovative financing tools like blended finance, underpinned by effectiveness, transparency and integrity. It serves as a benchmark for evaluating the long-term viability of blended finance projects.
  • Impact transparency also plays a crucial role in attracting capital and seeking positive impact alongside financial returns, providing important and relevant data to make well-informed investment decisions.

We acknowledge the summit convenors for facilitating this collaborative event: the GBFA, the GSG, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), the International Forum for Impact Investment in China (IFCII), the Chinese Academy for Financial Inclusion (CAFI), and the United In Diversity (UID) Foundation. 

Read more about blended finance in the ASEAN region

Mainstreaming impact, with purpose

We are a supporting partner of the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific starting in Sydney on Wednesday, which this year explores the themes of Inclusion, Systems Change, Climate, Community, and The Arts.

Iconic Australian athlete and Co-Founder of the Black Excellence Fund, Adam Goodes, will inaugurate the summit in conversation with The Impact Outfit CEO, Lillian Kline.

The summit’s opening address will be delivered (virtually) by the Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP. The Treasurer will share his take on the impact investing sector, discuss the role of government, and provide an update on his December Roundtable on Impact Investing. As a summit Advisory Board member, our CEO, David Hetherington, was pleased to facilitate the opportunity for the Treasurer to present.

Following Jim Chalmers’ address, our Founding Chair Rosemary Addis AM will respond, and offer her perspectives on how impact investment and economic policies can work together to drive positive social and environmental outcomes.

The two-day program is packed with inspiring keynotes, plenaries, breakouts, panel discussions, live ImpactConnect pitches, and an Impact MarketPlace. We invite you to join David Hetherington at the summit’s World Cafe, where he’ll be exploring the future of impact alongside the Impact Club, RIAA and GoodWolf Partners.

It’s not too late to book your ticket and receive an extra 10% off using our discount code: IIA24. 

Find out more and register

Helping build an equitable innovation sector 

Investment NSW, a division of the NSW Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade, held an Innovation Blueprint Roundtable on International Women’s Day focused on addressing system inequality.

The Roundtable brought together leaders to inform the NSW Innovation Blueprint on how best to assure equity in the innovation system for all, and provide a forum for input on settings to address the global challenge for diversity of ideas and talent. 

While the NSW Government has achieved gender parity in Cabinet, the Roundtable noted these stark numbers in the NSW Gender Equality Key Economic Indicators Index*:

  • In NSW there is still a gender pay gap of 11.8%.
  • Women have lower rates of paid workforce participation at 61.4%, compared to males who participate at a rate of 70.4%.
  • On average each week NSW women undertake approximately 30.3 hours of unpaid labour, almost double the 17.9 hours performed by men.

Our CEO, David Hetherington, attended the Roundtable and shared insights gathered through our gender lens investing research

*Source: NSW Government marks International Women’s Day.