Finance

How Your Investment can Build a Sustainable Business Ecosystem

With a new norm ahead of us–one defined by global interdependence against the backdrop of climate emergencies and the COVID-19 pandemic–it’s more important than ever that conscious investors play a role in the path forward. The failure of the COP26 summit where world leaders could not put aside their own interests to act for the good of the world showed that it’s up to each individual to take action to build a resilient future for everyone.

Impact investing can progress the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations adopted Agenda 2030 in 2015 as an ambitious universal agenda to address the world’s most pressing problems. The UN describes the Global Goals as the “World’s To-Do List” to ensure that humankind progresses together toward an equitable and sustainable future where no vulnerable groups are left behind.

“A core feature of the SDGs is their strong focus on means of implementation—the mobilization of financial resources—capacity-building and technology, as well as data and institutions.”

[United Nations Global Goals]

With the right impact investment, you commit your dollar to creating a positive impact while providing returns on your investment. The rising environmental and social consciousness of investors is growing evidence for the resilience dividend in the markets. Not only are consumers demanding accountability for business practices in what they buy, but for several years, climate change has also been topping the charts of what the next generation of consumers is concerned about.

Investors have not lagged behind with a growing demand for environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) taking precedence in 2021. Reuters reported a record $649 billion invested into ESG-focused funds worldwide in 2021.

Climate disasters and the onset of the pandemic are responsible for what some people call the sustainability disruption—where embracing risk and innovating solutions demand inclusivity versus considering financial benefits alone.

But what does this mean for your next investment?

Good risk management is good impact management

If investors, businesses, donors, and ecosystem actors want to drive transformational change, they need to re-assess how they view and manage risk through a framework that goes beyond the traditional binary risk-return approach. The new norm will require us, enterprises and investors, to make financial, operational, and commercial decisions through a more holistic Risk-Return-Impact approach.

IIX has been working with a proprietary Risk-Return-Impact (RRI) framework for over a decade, and it has played a key part in our innovations unlocking over US $233M in private sector capital by showing investors how investing in enterprises with a focus on impact reduces the risk profile of their portfolio and creates real verified impact.

Our approach leverages on the ground data and analytics to provide businesses and investors with comparative, standardized information so that they can create risk mitigation strategies, make capital allocation decisions, and more effectively and transparently drive capital towards where it is needed the most. We’ve now digitized this framework so it is accessible online through IIX Values for anyone to use, and so that it can be deployed quickly and effectively.

What’s Next?

If you’re an investor committed to making a difference and progressing the SDGs, there are ways to put your dollar to work. Access the next generation of impact enterprises that are vetted, investor-ready, and on track to deliver verified impact objectives targetted to move the needle on the Global Goals.

Click here to learn more and join us at our next investor showcase for an exclusive peek at our live deals.

Impact Partners 3.0 is an innovative, FinTech crowdfunding platform by IIX Impact Partners integrating digital impact assessment with data analysis for the first time. Having unlocked US$ 233M in capital for impact since 2008, Impact Partners 3.0 is democratizing capital flows by providing data-driven matchmaking to deliver investment solutions for enterprises and investors alike.

IIX and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Launch Blended Finance Solutions to Benefit 2.5 Million Lives in Asia Pacific by 2023

SINGAPORE AND CANBERRA [September 15, 2021] – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced today the launch of three blended finance solutions to boost resilience and drive investment to small and medium-sized businesses and underserved women in the Asia-Pacific. With AUD2.75 million in funding from the Australian Government, IIX will unlock an additional AUD18 million through the catalytic use of the funding.

Read more

World’s First Listed Gender Lens Impact Investing Security, IIX Women’s Livelihood Bond 1, Matures

July 6, 2021 – SINGAPORE – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)’s Women’s Livelihood BondTM 1 (WLB1), the world’s first gender lens and impact investing instrument to be listed on a stock exchange (the Singapore Exchange), matured on July 6, 2021. With all coupon payments and principal payments made on time, even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bond provided investors with an annual return of 5.65% from 2017-2021. The WLB1 is the first issuance of the US$150M Women’s Livelihood Bond Series, a series of innovative debt securities that creates sustainable livelihoods for over 3 million underserved women across the Asia-Pacific and other emerging markets. In addition to its strong financial performance, all social performance targets, including targets for increased financial inclusion and financial resilience, were met or exceeded, demonstrating the sustainability of the bond’s underlying portfolio throughout the pandemic.

Read more

Trailblazers in Impact Interview: Takeshi Kato, BWiz Capital

As part of our 10th Year Anniversary, our Trailblazers in Impact Interview Series celebrates some of the partners we’ve worked with over the years in creating positive social and environmental impact. In this edition, we speak with Founder and CEO of BWiz Capital, Takeshi Kato, who has been an Impact Partners investor since 2016.  BWiz Capital has since invested in high-impact enterprises through Impact Partners—namely Krakakoa, a woman-led bean-to-bar chocolate-maker in Indonesia and ERC Eye Care, an enterprise that delivers affordable and inclusive eye care to low-income persons in India.

In 2016, Takeshi Kato started BWiz Capital, an impact investing company based in Tokyo, which targets funding for impact enterprises that are innovating solutions to eradicate poverty and impacting underserved communities and is utilizing his experience in investment to make a case for impact investing in Japan.

Prior to BWiz Capital, Kato was Managing Director at Japan Industrial Partners, a private equity firm specializing in corporate buyouts. He was also CEO and Head of Investment Banking and Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory at Mizuho Securities India in Mumbai, along in corporate finance and asset management businesses in Tokyo and New York.

 

Read more

Inequality: Is Tech the Problem?

Technology advancements leave certain people behind.

The industrial revolution that took place in the 18th century and post-world war II is proof to this. Previously agrarian, rural societies in Europe and USA became industrial and urban. Steam engines, powered machinery, factories and mass production replaced skilled workers and artisans. Today, people argue platforms like Uber are generating new income opportunities, but a recent court ruling where Uber was fined $20m for misleading drivers with inflated wages reveals a darker secret.

Read more

Trailblazers in Impact Interview Series: SOLshare (Bangladesh)

Bangladesh-based startup SOLshare developed the world’s first peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform, making clean energy affordable and accessible to off-grid households through a decentralized system of energy distribution. SOLshare was the IIX Growth Fund‘s first Bangladesh investment.

We sit down with Dr. Sebastian Groh, Managing Director and Co-founder of SOLshare, to talk about how this “Airbnb of Energy” is helping communities in rural Bangladesh move up the energy ladder.

 

Read more

Health Financing Innovation to Defeat Malaria in Asia Pacific

In less than a dozen of years, an Asian child in a remote, rural community will fall ill with fever following a mosquito bite. After having been diagnosed of malaria by a community health worker, he will be given effective treatment and make a full recovery. It will be the last case of malaria in Asia Pacific.

This is not a fantasy, but a tangible moment within our grasp.

Read more

Innovating justice: needed & possible – Report of the Innovation Working Group of the Task Force on Justice

IIX’s Managing Director Robert Kraybill participated in the Innovation Working Group of the Task Force on Justice, which published the report “Innovating justice: needed & possible” on 6 February 2019. The Innovation Working Group was asked to review the evidence of unmet justice needs, explore the potential for innovation, explore the investment possibilities for promising innovation areas, provide parameters for enhancing innovation for SDG16.3, and to make recommendations on these matters to the Task Force on Justice. Read the report here.

Read more

Trailblazers in Impact Interview Series: Marcel Neutel, C4D Partners

Marcel Neutel is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Capital 4 Development (C4D) Partners. C4D has been a partner of IIX for over five years and recipient of the 2016 IIX Trailblazer Award. To date, C4D has made four investments in high-impact enterprises via Impact Partners.

We sat down with Marcel Neutel for an interview on his experience as an impact investor. See what he had to say:

Read more

Women, Peace and Parity: Speech at Wharton San Francisco

The following speech was delivered by IIX Founder and CEO Professor Durreen Shahnaz on October 24th at Wharton San Francisco, for IIX and Knowledge@Wharton’s event “Women, Peace and Parity: Using Finance as a Tool For Progress.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Knowledge@Wharton and IIX’s joint event, ‘Women, Peace and Parity’. Thank you all for joining us today to celebrate the United Nations – so Happy United Nations Day. Today is a celebration of women — the Sustainable Development Goals #5 – Gender Equality, a celebration of Peace – SDG goal # 16, and a celebration of partnerships – SDG #17, because as we know, to undertake the mammoth task of creating a peaceful and equitable society – it takes women and it takes a village.

Read more