Government action needed to drive Australia’s inclusive economy

Government action needed to drive Australia’s inclusive economy

Impact Investing Australia welcomes the federal budget’s support for vulnerable Australians, but is disappointed the Government has missed a significant opportunity for catalytic action to drive private resources to address social and environmental issues.

“The Australian Government has stopped short when more than ever it needs to take greater action to drive an inclusive economic recovery post-COVID,” said Sabina Curatolo, Acting CEO, Impact Investing Australia.

Government action taken now to drive the impact investing market would contribute to rebuilding an Australian economy that is resilient to future shocks, drive job creation for disadvantaged Australians and regions, plus re-balance our labour markets to provide greater opportunities for women and First Nations people and job security for young people.

Investors, businesses and community organisations have already informed recommended actions for the Australian Government to take, through its Social Impact Investment Taskforce led by an Expert Panel comprising Impact Investing Australia Executive Director, Sally McCutchan. These actions include the Government co-financing an impact investment wholesale fund to catalyse and scale for-purpose solutions; and setting up a social enterprise growth fund.

Impact Investing Australia welcomes the announcement of an Early Stage Social Enterprise Foundation to improve economic security of Indigenous women budgeted at $13.9 million over four years.

“Supporting early stage social enterprises is critical to developing a pipeline of businesses tackling social and environmental issues. We are anticipating additional Government support to extend this initiative and enable its potential through other key market building actions,” said Sabina.

In 2019 the Australian Government funded the Social Impact Investing Taskforce to identify additional solutions to address entrenched disadvantage, achieve measurable social impact and facilitate private capital investment in the social impact investing market. The Taskforce’s interim report was released in February 2020 and included a recommendation to establish a social impact investment wholesaler to catalyse Australia’s for-purpose market. Their final recommendations were presented to the Prime Minister at the end of last year but have not been released publicly. 

“We look forward to the Government releasing the recommendations from its Social Impact Investing Taskforce, and working with them on effective ways to drive private capital to support the post-COVID recovery,” said Impact Investing Australia Chair, Richard Brandweiner.

COVID-19 has increased the pressure on the Government’s budget and heightened the focus on the outcomes delivered from spending.

“Four years since its Discussion Paper on Social Impact Investment and two years since establishing its Social Impact Investment Taskforce, the time for action is here,” said Sabina.

“By funding the recommendations of its Social Impact Investing Taskforce, the Government will accelerate impact investments that transform our economies, so they better serve society.” 

For more information contact Patrice Virlombier on 0425 724 769 or