09 December 2016, Singapore — On December 8th, the inaugural Impact Investment Trailblazer Showcase, hosted by the Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and the Shujog ACTS program with support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), brought together over 100 key players in the impact investment ecosystem from across the globe to reflect on the progress of impact investing and celebrate the innovative leaders within the space.
Attendees discussed current trends, learned updates from the field and discovered the work of six cutting-edge impact enterprises from across Asia. Keeping true to the event theme, the Impact Investment Trailblazer Showcase was held at an impact enterprise, Food for Thought at Singapore Botanic Gardens, and utilized impact enterprise vendors.
“Impact investment is in many ways at the cutting edge of international development,” said Luke Zahner of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia. “The U.S. government, through USAID, has a long and proud history providing support to the impact investment community.”
In an exciting reveal, ICCO Investments was announced at the showcase as the winner of the first-ever IIX Trailblazer Award for their commitment to redefining finance and generating social impact in the global community. ICCO Investments has invested in 24 impact enterprises across Africa, Latin America and Asia, impacting nearly 1 million lives worldwide. IIX has had the pleasure of working with ICCO investments on its projects within Asia.
The showcase also featured the graduation of the first class of the IIX Impact Institute (IIXII) after the students presented their group projects which explored the potential of impact investment in addressing global issues such as aboriginally controlled healthcare in Australia, small-scale farming in Asia, and social capital markets in Africa. As a testament to the diverse set of stakeholders interested in this field, the inaugural class consisted of 12 leading professionals across the private and public sector from 12 countries on four continents. IIXII is now open for applications for the Spring 2017 program.
“At the heart of this gathering, was the belief that we can effectively use finance to create social and environmental good. Despite all our hard work, sadly Asia still remains the home to 62% of the world’s hungry and massive environmental destruction is unfolding in front of our eyes with over 9 million hectares of forests depleted over the last ten years in South East Asia alone. We have no choice, we all must relentlessly work together to reduce these numbers. And how do we do it? The answer is simple, by impact investing.” said IIX & Shujog Founder Durreen Shahnaz in her closing speech.
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ABOUT IMPACT INVESTMENT EXCHANGE (IIX)
IIX is a Singapore-based impact enterprise with a mission to provide other Impact Enterprises (IEs) in Asia greater access to investment capital, allowing them to more rapidly expand the impact of their activities. IIX offers multiple platforms to support the ecosystem including the IIX Growth Fund™, Impact Partners™, Impact Exchange™, and the IIX Impact Institute™. Impact Partners™ connects accredited impact investors to selected growth-stage IEs who are looking to raise investment capital. IIX Impact Institute™ educates leading professionals across sectors on how to optimize their role in the impact investment space. The IIX Growth Fund supports innovative impact enterprises that lack access to growth capital through direct equity investments. IIX’s Impact Exchange is the world’s first social stock exchange. To date, IIX has closed 26 deals, facilitating over US$12 million of investment and has impacted more than 10 million people across Asia.
ABOUT SHUJOG ACTS
Shujog ACTS is an award-winning technical assistance program of Shujog, the sister organization of IIX, supported by USAID, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The program assists impact enterprises in becoming investment ready, scaling their business and maximizing their impact. Since 2013, Shujog ACTS has supported 27 entities, which resulted in over 350,000 total direct beneficiaries of the program, more than 200,000 of which are women. The program was awarded the 2014 USAID PACE Award and recognized by the Rockefeller Foundation for its achievements. For more information, visit www.acts.shujog.org.
ABOUT UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID)
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID’s regional programs, such as USAID Asia, work to address key transnational issues that present critical developmental challenges to progress. USAID Asia has partnered with Shujog to support the Shujog ACTS Program that helps impact enterprises across the region become investment ready, scale their business, and maximize their impact..
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