The Australian Government’s announced commitment to work in partnership to build the impact investment market to scale in Australia is welcomed by the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing (AAB) and Impact Investing Australia.

“The Government’s commitment sends a positive signal that will instil confidence and encourage participation”, said Rosemary Addis, Chair, AAB. “A constructive partnership with Government, which has a major role to play and is a key beneficiary of unlocking more private capital for public good, will help us all move faster and realise greater impact with and for Australian communities.”

Impact investments, which intentionally target societal outcomes alongside financial returns, unlock private resources to achieve positive social and environmental impacts. Impact investing is already making a difference across a broad range of areas, including: housing, employment, disability, aged care, health, education, arts and culture, agriculture and the environment.

In the 2018/19 Federal Budget, the Australian Government committed to examine opportunities to leverage private sector capital and community sector engagement to build the impact investment market to scale in Australia and tackle issues that affect Australian families and communities.

“We look forward to engaging with the Australian Government to drive impact investing to scale, particularly around the game-changing initiative, Impact Capital Australia (ICA)”, said Sally McCutchan, CEO, Impact Investing Australia. “Designed as a catalytic, independent institution, ICA will unlock capital and capacity to tackle societal issues at scale.”

A recent AAB field scan re-enforced the strong appetite and potential for impact investing from a broad set of stakeholders, including governments. “This kind of proactive partnership with government, including to look at game-changers like ICA will help to realise that potential for Australian communities”, said Mrs Addis.

The AAB and Impact Investing Australia also welcomed the related measures, including $6.7m commitment to build capacity in impact management. “Greater capacity to understand the effects experienced by people and learn more about what works will help to deliver and improve impact”, noted Ms McCutchan. “We encourage the Government to align their efforts with work already announced or underway including The Centre for Social Impact’s Amplify initiative and international activities including the Impact Management Project and Impact Genome Project.”

“With Australia at the forefront of growing global momentum, we are excited to work with the Australian Government to bring focused attention to the field and chart a course for achieving a vibrant, dynamic impact investment market at scale that is both uniquely Australian and makes a rich contribution globally”, concluded Mrs Addis.