Impact Investing Australia was established in 2014 in response to an industry-identified need for dedicated leadership, facilitation and capacity building.
Responsible for driving the implementation of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing’s strategy to catalyse the market for impact investing, Impact Investing Australia provided a focal point for market development in Australia, as well as participating in international efforts to grow the market globally.
As part of the first wave of market development, Impact Investing Australia delivered upon a number of areas of work – including developing market infrastructure, growing market participation and influencing government policy – identified as critical to accelerating the growth of impact investing.
Development of market infrastructure
Benchmarking Impact: Australian Impact Investment Activity and Performance Report 2016
The need: Investors did not have access to a central pool of data on Australian impact investments to help them set financial or impact return expectations, understand risk or benchmark their performance.
The initiative: In October 2016, Impact Investing Australia launched Benchmarking Impact: Australian Impact Investment Activity and Performance Report 2016, the first set of aggregated, market-based data on the performance of Australian impact investment products. The Report presents the findings from analysis of impact investment activity and performance data for a data-set of Australian impact investments active as at 30 June 2015, with a total product value of $1.2 billion.
Impact Investor Report 2016
The need: There had been no data from Australian investors – including those active in impact investing and those yet to consider impact in their investment decisions – around investor interest, demand and expectations relating to impact investing.
The initiative: In March 2016, the inaugural Impact Investing Australia 2016 Investor Report was launched, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre at the University of Melbourne. Reporting on Australia’s first investor survey focused on impact investing, this Report makes an important contribution to understanding how the demand for impact investing is shaping in Australia. It provides new insights into investors’ awareness and interest in impact investing, as well as the future prospects and challenges facing this growing field.
Impact Capital Australia
The need: There is no ‘impact’ dedicated institution that new intermediaries like fund managers can go to as a ‘first investor’. There is no institution that is seen as the ‘market champion’ and that has a mandate to invest in the impact investment market.
The initiative: In October 2015, Impact Investing Australia launched a Blueprint for Impact Capital Australia, a new and independent financial institution to accelerate development and achieve scale for impact investing. We are inviting government, major financial insitutions and the community to join with us and take ICA from a Blueprint to a reality that benefits all Australians.
Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant
The need: Impact investing offers organisations with a social or environmental purpose a range of new opportunities for diversifying funding. It also requires an additional set of skills to attract different forms of investment and to compete more effectively for contracts. The more enterprises that are ‘investment ready’, the more quality impact investment opportunities there will be. Investors are experiencing difficulty finding ‘investment ready’ enterprises. Businesses with a social or environmental mental often cannot afford the advice (eg. legal, financial, strategy) required to become ‘investment ready’.
The initiative: In March 2015, Impact Investing Australia launched the Impact Investment Readiness Fund, now know as the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant, in partnership with and seeded by NAB. The Fund provides grants of up to $100,000 to provide mission-driven organisations with targeted advice and support to help them secure investment for scaling up their social or environmental impact.
Growing market participation
The Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing identified the importance of bringing focused attention to impact investing and its potential, including uniting the different sector participants and activities; highlighting the work of those already active; and attracting more people, ideas and resources to the field.
Impact Investing Australia worked towards this in a myriad of ways, including helping participants learn through our library of case studies and impact profiles; and bringing participants together by partnering to deliver the annual Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific.
Influencing government policy
Governments have a lot to gain from impact investing. Impact investing encourages innovation, offers opportunities for more efficient delivery of public services and drives down the cost of achieving positive solutions to our pressing social and environmental challenges.
Governments have a unique role in that they can be both market participants and market stewards. As a major buyer of goods and commissioner of services, governments can play a pivotal role in accelerating the growth of impact investing. The impact in impact investing is enhanced through their collaboration. The investing in impact investing is accelerated through their participation in the market.
Well-designed policy is critical to stimulating more private investment, delivering better outcomes for society and removing the existing barriers to impact investing. Together with the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing, we have worked with impact investing leaders to establish the policy priorities and provide a collective voice to government.
We have engaged with governments at the Federal and State levels to encourage a more supportive environment for impact investing with a dual focus on policy change and practical actions that can be adopted. This work is currently focused on development of the market for impact investing through the establishment of Impact Capital Australia.
View Impact Investing Australia’s submissions to different government inquiries.
View key impact investing reports with recommendations for governments.