Insights

Is White Liberalism Taking Over Impact Investing?

by Durreen Shahnaz, Founder and CEO of IIX
December 3, 2019

After a decade of impact investing, how inclusive is the space? What is the report card on the space and its mission to build a more inclusive market? Our Founder and CEO, Durreen Shahnaz shares her thoughts.

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Trailblazer in Impact Interview Series: Green Enterprises Indonesia

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.

This issue of our Trailblazers in Impact Interview Series features Jane Dunlop, CEO and co-founder of farm-to-market virgin coconut oil producer Green Enterprises Indonesia (PT GEI) based in Aceh, Indonesia. Following IIX Growth Fund’s investment in PT GEI in 2018, which later brought together additional investors C4D Partners and Stichting Administratiekantoor Green Enterprise Nederland, PT GEI has continued to grow and scale its operations, improving the lives of over 4,300 smallholder farmers through increased income and improved agricultural practices. Today, they’re supplying to the global cosmetics company LUSH.
 
By creating a sustainable and organic value chain for coconuts, Green Enterprises Indonesia is providing sustainable livelihoods to address the on-going problem of land-conversion from increasing palm oil demand, as well as the loss of the island’s extensive biodiversity.
 
Green Enterprises Indonesia is a triple bottom line business model, and we are excited to continue working with them to create positive social change in the Indonesian agricultural community. Enjoy the read!

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3 Things Family Offices and DAFs Need to Know about Using Impact Investing for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Asia

In many countries across Asia, women and girls face persistent structural constraints that keep them trapped in subsistence living. These conditions reduce their resilience to economic and environmental downturns and become key barriers to economic development and increased political participation. The good news is that socially conscious investors, foundations, financial institutions and financial vehicles are looking to tackle this through impact investing.

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Why we need to bring women into the climate change equation

Climate change is the single greatest challenge of our generation. Today, more than 1.3 billion people live on failing agricultural land – where communities and individuals are faced with the risk of failed harvests, worsening hunger, poverty, and displacement.

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There Are No Foreign Lands: Interview with Jeff Sheehan

 

We sat down with Jeffrey A. Sheehan for an interview about his new book There Are No Foreign Lands. Sheehan’s book takes the reader on a global tour to 21 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia to introduce the women and men he believes are the harbingers of a potential “Global Spring,” in which all members of the human race can find common ground to settle their differences and work together productively and peacefully.

Based on the acquaintances he made during a 30-year career as Associate Dean for International Relations at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Sheehan presents profiles of 21 people from 21 countries. Our very own CEO and Founder, Durreen Shahnaz, is one of these 21 people that the book features, with a dedicated chapter talking about the work IIX has done and achieved through the decade of impact investing since it was first coined in 2008.

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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.

 

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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 prove 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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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