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OPINION: How Asian investors are saving impact investing from its worst tendencies – Thomson Reuters Foundation

As both the world’s fastest growing population of super wealthy and the home of some of the most challenging social and environmental problems, Asia is emerging as an impact investing powerhouse.

Impact investing– investments intended to create positive social impact alongside financial return – has been growing fast in Asia Pacific.  But in order to appreciate the movement’s rise in Asia, we must move beyond the notion that the region must “catch up” to its western counterparts in purely quantitative terms.  READ MORE

Want to invest responsibly? A new breed of stock exchange aims to help – Reuters

LONDON/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – From renewable energy companies to social housing funds, investors around the world are increasingly drawn to organizations that offer social or environmental as well as financial returns.

Now, a new breed of market is springing up from Scotland to India to help them identify investment opportunities – and make it easier for organizations that seek to do good to raise funds.  READ MORE

How Japan Airlines Is Pushing For Gender Equality Within and Beyond Its Walls – Singapore Tatler

This Japanese carrier leads the charge in championing the cause by supporting events such as the She Is More Youth Art Competition in March

Japan Airlines (JAL), one of the country’s major flag carriers, showed its support for gender equality in society when it came in as a major partner of the She Is More Youth Art Competition. The inaugural competition, of which Singapore Tatler was an exclusive luxury media partner, was organised by IIX Foundation, the sister entity of global organisation Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)READ MORE

Indonesian bean-to-bar choco maker Krakakoa raises funds from IIX, others – Tech In Asia

Krakakoa, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in Indonesia, has raised an undisclosed amount from Singapore’s Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) through its IIX Growth Fund (IGF) as it gears up for a series A round in 2020.

Ladies Investment Club VC and Jeremy Oppenheim, co-founder of advisory and investment company Systemiq, also participated in the fundraise, according to a statement.

Krakakoa aims to support Indonesian smallholder cocoa farmers by directly sourcing from them and offering them training programs. It also works with female factory workers to provide them with a stable livelihood.  READ MORE

Bangladesh to Develop 50 MW of Solar Power Projects – Mercom

A consortium of ib vogt and AG Agro Industries have won a contract to develop a 50 MW grid-tied solar project in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh.

The company is expected to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDP) for 20 years. The project will be developed on a build, own, and operate basis (BOO).

Further, BPDB is expected to procure the power at a tariff of $0.1094/kWh under the condition of ‘no electricity, no payment.’ READ MORE

The highs and lows of creating the world’s first social stock exchange – Quartz

The world is coming around to social stock exchanges (SSEs).

In just the past few months, Scotland, Jamaica, and now India have thrown their hat in the ring to launch their own platforms, all with the hope of solving one of the greatest challenges to social capital markets: the need to connect capital to socially-minded organisations at scale.

In 2009, when I launched the world’s first SSE, the Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), in Singapore, I did so with the vision that it would become a beacon for impact investing—the symbol of a perfect financial system, where everyone could participate and have a voice.  READ MORE

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.