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Novel Bond Aims To Boost Livelihoods Of Women In South And Southeast Asia – Forbes

Low-income women in South and Southeast Asia face a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Few have a formal bank account. Women farmers in Asia work  more hours per week in the field than men, but earn much less. With little or no access to electricity, they’re exposed to toxic fumes from kerosene lamps and stoves. The list goes on. 

Those are some of the problems IIX is trying to address with its Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB). In 2017, the Singapore-based social impact finance pioneer introduced its first $8 million WLB, which pooled together a group of impact enterprises to issue a collective bond aimed at improving women’s economic opportunity. IIX’s proprietary impact assessments were used to measure the social impact and financial viability of the borrowers.  READ MORE

The Free Market Must Account for Environmental and Social Impact – Stanford Social Innovation Review

“Many different organizations have pioneered the creation of new accounting metrics that undergird the IMP’s efforts. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, and B Lab’s B Impact Assessment, provide consensusbased sets of criteria that measure the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies and practices of companies big and small…

These advances, in turn, have informed the work of a broader ecosystem of actors. First, there are groups working to expand impact investing, such as the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), and Toniic. Second, there are efforts to ground social and environmental outcomes in context—whether for regional priorities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]), for systems to facilitate corporate efforts to address these goals (World Benchmarking Alliance) …” READ MORE

Impact Investment Exchange: Taking Wall Street to the backstreet – Wealth & Society

Managing Director Robert Kraybill discusses how IIX uses financial markets to directly and proactively benefit society.

Employing innovative financial instruments and a range of platforms to best ensure that capital invested has a social and environmental impact as well as a financial return is fundamental to Investment Impact Exchange’s (IIX) business model.

IIX’s Managing Director, Robert Kraybill, who has twenty years of finance and investment banking experience said that: “the 2008 Financial Crisis was a wakeup call to ask myself how can we use the tools of the traditional finance markets in a way that will directly and proactively benefit society.” Read more.

India: Solar startup Freyr Energy, SaaS firm Verloop raise funding – e27

Freyr Energy, an India-based full-service solar solutions firm providing access to cheap energy, has closed a US$1.5 million Series A round from Impact Partners, a crowdfunding platform for impact investing.

Operated by Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), Impact Partners brought together a consortium of global investors including Netherlands-based C4D Partners and India-based angel investors. According to IIX’s impact assessment, the funding will expand access to reliable and affordable solar energy to 2,275 households and 2,975 businesses, enable 675 off-grid rural villages to enjoy electricity for the first time through micro-grids, and avoid 167,270 metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2022. Read more.

Solar startup Freyr raises $1.5m via Singapore crowdfunding platform – Tech in Asia

Impact Partners is operated by Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a Singapore-based organization that seeks to link investors with social and environmental projects.

Co-founder Saurabh Marda said Freyr will use the funds to “continue improving our technology platform, increase the strength of our sales and channel partner network, and support our marketing activities to fuel future growth.” Read more.

Strength in a Sari – The Business Times

Having built the world’s first social stock exchange, particularly to benefit and empower women, Durreen Shahnaz now wants to take impact investing from the margins to the mainstream. Growing up in the throes of the Bangladesh Liberation War had a profound impact on Durreen Shahnaz from an early age. The experience of watching her country struggle to get back on its feet in its early days of independence stirred up in the former investment banker and founder of the Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) a defiance never to yield to others’ notions of what she could or could not do. Read more.

Private Capital for Change – The Economist

Our world’s top scientists spend billions of dollars every year on space exploration, searching the universe for one thing: water, considered a necessity for life. Yet on Earth, our primary source of water — the ocean — is perhaps one of the most undervalued resources on the planet. Read more.

How Women are Bringing Impact Investing to the Mainstream – Robb Report

Leaders like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink have taken notice. In his annual letter to CEOs this year, Fink wrote: “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Some on Wall Street say that Fink’s message sets a tipping point for the whole investment industry. Read More.

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DBS, partner target US$100m for women’s livelihood bond programme – The Business Times

Local lender DBS Bank has returned as official banking partner and sole placement agent for the second round of a debt security listing aimed at supporting women in Asia.

DBS and Singapore-based capital firm Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) will issue a series of bonds with a target of US$100 million under the newly launched Women’s Livelihood Bond scheme, they said in a media statement on Wednesday.

The scheme will fund and support South and South-east Asian enterprises tackling financial inclusion, clean energy access and sustainable agriculture, with the goal of benefiting one million vulnerable women.

Pricing details for the bonds, which will be released in several tranches, are not yet out. The plan is to list the issuances on a stock exchange and sell them to global investors. Read More.

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IIX and KOICA Commit to Accelerate High-Impact Enterprises in Asia – Myanmar Business Today

SINGAPORE —  IIX and KOICA will jointly contribute $1.2 million USD over five years to support 18 enterprises across South and Southeast Asia, with a goal of impacting the lives of 8 million people.

IIX is a global organization dedicated to building a more inclusive world through innovative finance and support for high-impact enterprises. The Singapore based company has partnered with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to accelerate early-stage enterprises with innovative social and environmental solutions for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Durreen Shahnaz, founder and CEO of IIX, said: “The success of our accelerator model draws on our deep understanding of the pain points facing impact enterprises and investors, and our ability to bridge those gaps with end-to-end expertise across the impact ecosystem.” Read More.

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