SINGAPORE – Jan. 18, 2010 – The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded a US$495,000 project support grant to Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (Asia) Pte. Ltd. (IIX), which is creating Asia’s first social stock exchange. The grant will support research and proof-of-concept analysis that IIX will undertake prior to launch of its exchange.
The Foundation made the grant as part of its Impact Investing work to help facilitate the development of necessary infrastructure for the social capital markets and to promote the availability of capital for Social Enterprises.
IIX is creating a regulated trading platform for securities issued by sustainable Social Enterprises in Asia. The exchange will allow Social Enterprises to raise capital, expand their operations, and provide both measurable social and financial returns for investors. Social Enterprises are entities (whether for-profit or not-for-profit) that have a social or environmental mission. IIX believes that the growth of the Social Enterprise sector will help alleviate poverty, provide needed goods and services for the disadvantaged, and support environmentally sustainable growth throughout Asia.
“The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support Impact Investment Exchange Asia in their effort to create Asia’s first securities exchange for impact investors as part of our multi-million dollar initiative that is helping to establish and standardize the impact investing industry,” said Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation. “Impact Investing is necessary to complement traditional resources such as international aid, government funding and philanthropic grants in helping to achieve profound social change, and IIX is well on its way to have significant impact in the Asian Social Enterprise sector.”
Social Enterprises in Asia have emerged to address market failures in sectors such as primary healthcare, education, clean technology, and microfinance, but many are unable to make a widespread, systemic, positive impact because they don’t have access to growth capital. IIX aims to fill that gap.
“I would like to extend our warmest appreciation to the Rockefeller Foundation for its belief in the important role that IIX will play in multiplying the social and environmental impact of Social Enterprises as well as catalyzing impact investment in Asia,” said Durreen Shahnaz, Founder and Chairperson of IIX. “Benefitting from the Rockefeller Foundation’s leadership of the global impact investment movement and its generous support, IIX looks forward to playing a significant role in promoting sustainable development in the region.”
IIX will establish listing criteria to promote and reward the best social purpose businesses in an environment that ensures transparency and accountability for investors.
It will utilize criteria typical of a traditional exchange – corporate governance, accounting standards, operating track record, and financial performance – and limit inclusion to companies with rigorous reporting of the outcomes of their core social missions.
“The Rockefeller Foundation’s support will enable IIX to pursue important research into the social enterprise and impact investment sectors in Asia,” said Robert Kraybill, Managing Director of IIX. “We look forward to leading this important work and to ultimately realizing our goal of creating a vibrant marketplace that brings impact investors and social enterprises together, enhancing the flow of capital to the social sector in Asia and enabling Social Enterprises to multiply their impact.”
About Impact Investment Exchange (Asia)
IIX is itself a Social Enterprise with a social mission: To provide Social Enterprises in Asia with greater access to capital, allowing them to more rapidly expand the impact of their activities. For Social Enterprises, IIX will provide simplified access to impact investors seeking to invest in innovative social business models and who attach positive value to social/environmental returns. For impact investors, it will provide a one-stop shop for market entry and exit as well as transparency, visibility, and rigorous reporting of the social/environmental impact generated by listed Social Enterprises.
For more on IIX, visit www.asiaiix.com
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation fosters innovative solutions to many of the world’s most pressing challenges, affirming its mission, since 1913, to “promote the well-being” of humanity. Today, the Foundation works to ensure that more people can tap into the benefits of globalization while strengthening resilience to its risks. Foundation initiatives include efforts to mobilize an agricultural revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, ensure access to affordable and high-quality health systems in developing countries, accelerate the impact investing industry’s evolution, and develop strategies and services that help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of climate change. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.
For more information, please contact:
Natalia Olynec, Impact Investment Exchange Asia
Phone: +65 9818 7674
Teresa Wells, The Rockefeller Foundation
Phone: +1 212-852-8304