Measuring impact

Measuring impact

Welcome to our quarterly newsletter. We hope, like us, you’ve had a great start to the year. The IIA team and I have been focused on delivering our 2023 agenda (which I was pleased to discuss with On Impact).

In this edition, we share news of the work we’re undertaking to assess the impact of the Growth Grant program – not just on Australian social enterprises but the broader impact investing ecosystem.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the Impact Investment Summit in Sydney next week. If you’re still to book your ticket, be sure to use the IIA discount code.

We were heartened to read the Treasurer’s comments about impact investing and the social economy in his essay for The Monthly and we look forward to the Government’s response to the updated Social Impact Investing Taskforce recommendations.

You can read more on this and other important updates below. 

Best wishes


David Hetherington, Chief Executive Officer
Impact Investing Australia

Evaluating the impact of our Growth Grants

We are currently undertaking an in-depth assessment of the measurable impact that our Growth Grant program has had on the impact investment ecosystem, including the impact on:

  • Social enterprises
  • Intermediaries
  • Investors
  • Beneficiaries (i.e. those who have benefited from the social impact of the social enterprises)

Through this assessment we will:

  • Identify major areas of impact across the four stakeholder groups
  • Assess and quantify the current and future impact of each stakeholder group and its translation to social benefits
  • Quantify the aggregate impact of the program through a detailed economic evaluation
  • Prepare case studies and guidance notes to assist and inform stakeholder groups and the Australian Government on future opportunities

The Growth Grant program has been a key component of our work for many years. Since 2018, the program, funded by the Department of Social Services’ Sector Readiness Fund, has provided grants to social enterprises to help them prepare for the investment required to grow, by paying for intermediary services such as business, financial, legal and other capacity building advice. Through the Department’s funding of the program, 69 social enterprises have received Growth Grants totalling more than $6.7 million. These social enterprises have raised over $70 million to scale their business and their social impact.

A final report of our Growth Grant program assessment will be provided to the Department of Social Services and components of the report will be shared externally.

We look forward to updating you on the key findings.

Enhancing disability and aged care training

While on the topic of Growth Grants, one of our most recent recipients, Melbourne-based ed-tech startup, Enabler Interactive, has raised $1.17 million over the past 12 months to support its vision of better training for support workers in the disability and aged care sectors. 

Enabler Interactive’s platform is helping address a lack of qualified care workers by combining video games and gamified, reward-based learning to educate and train people about real-life scenarios. This new approach to training aims to build confidence in carers so they are prepared to take on the pressures of these highly demanding jobs. 

Enabler’s unique and novel approach to training utilises 3D video game technologies to provide engaging digital scenarios that place care workers in authentic and often challenging (digital) situations. There are currently six training modules on the platform and the team expects this to grow to 13 by the end of 2023.

Congratulations Enabler Interactive!

We support Mainstreaming Impact

IIA is pleased to again be a supporter of the Impact Investment Summit. The team hopes to see many of you in Sydney as we gather insights from the 70+ guest speakers who will explore the theme Mainstreaming Impact

We invite you to join IIA team members who will be hosting a number of sessions.

Thursday 30 March, 9.35am

IIA CEO David Hetherington and Board member Amanda Miller OAM will provide an update on the Government’s Social Impact Investing Taskforce.

Thursday 30 March, 4pm

Board member Sally McCutchan OAM will moderate a breakout session on Values Aligned Portfolio Building, with panel members from Ethinvest, Colonial First State and Australian Impact Investments.

Friday 31 March, 9.15am

Our Founding Chair Rosemary Addis AM will join Jed Emerson, Chief Impact Officer at Alvarium Tiedemann | AlTi in a discussion about this critical moment for impact and purpose of capital. 

Ticket discount

If you’d like to join us at the Summit, use the code IIA23 to receive a 10% discount on tickets.

Jim Chalmers on the relationship between state and private sector

We were interested to read Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ essay in The Monthly where he called for a new partnership between business, labour and government “to efficiently and effectively direct resources” in order to create “values-based capitalism” for the benefit of our society. 

In the Capitalism after the crises essay, we were buoyed by the Treasurer’s comments: “Across the social purpose economy, in areas such as aged care, education and disability, effective organisations with high-quality talent can offer decent returns and demonstrate a social dividend – but they find it hard to grow because they find it hard to get investors. Right now, the market framework that would enable that investment in effect doesn’t properly exist.”

We eagerly await the Government’s response to Social Impact Investing Taskforce recommendations and the role it will play in developing the much-needed impact investment market framework the Treasurer refers to.

You can read Jim Chalmers’ essay in The Monthly here.

Global impact events in October

GSG Global Impact Summit – Malaga

Registrations are now open for the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment’s Impact Summit 2023, taking place in Malaga on 2–3 October. Designed for investors, philanthropists, businesses, entrepreneurs, market builders and policy makers, the Summit will see the exchange of innovative ideas and uncover a plan on how to replicate best practices at scale in the areas of: 

  • Mobilising capital for people and planet, where it is most needed
  • Achieving full transparency in measuring impacts
  • Accelerating impact and social economies: in Europe and beyond

More than 1,000 impact leaders representing 75 countries are expected to attend. More details can be found on the Summit website.


GIIN Impact Forum – Copenhagen

The Global Impact Investing Network’s Impact Forum, which immediately follows the GSG Summit, will take place in Copenhagen on October 4–5. The Forum provides the opportunity to build relationships, discover investment opportunities and get the latest insights on emerging pools of capital, new solutions in the global south, the blue economy, biodiversity and climate intersection, aligning on core metrics, regeneration and the implications of AI for impact investing.

Guests at this year’s Forum will include more than 1,600 impact professionals from banks, foundations, family offices, pension funds, fund managers, governments, insurance companies, development finance institutions, service providers and more.

The Super Early Bird ticket rate is available until 31 May. More details can be found here.

Evidence-based progress in ESG and impact investing 

Much has been reported on greenwashing of late, with ASIC Commissioner Danielle Price announcing just last week that several superannuation funds are now being investigatedunder consumer protection laws, which she suspects will result in court action.

Our Founding Chair Rosemary Addis AM and Board Member Fabienne Michaux recently contributed to No more Greenwashing, Driving evidence-based progress in ESG & Impact Investing  an overview of regulatory initiatives in Australia, the UK and Europe, and what to do with them. 

This paper is delivered in three parts:

  1. The concept of greenwashing and its implications within the finance and investment sector
  2. An overview of the regulations around greenwashing, plus strategic thinking on impact and measurement
  3. The process and mechanism for creating effective tools for investor engagement that you can use to create the change in the world that you define as important to your stakeholders.

The paper is targeted at those in the investment space, including investment management firms, asset managers, investment funds and investee companies.

If you’re interested in learning about Australia’s regulatory initiatives you can access the paper, published by Philip Bateman and the Bravo Charlie team, here.