22 October 2015 –The inaugural IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge has concluded with six winning Impact Enterprises across Asia, celebrated for building peace through innovative businesses in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The six winning enterprises demonstrate a wide range of positive social impact, from generating sustainable livelihoods and fair-trade agriculture, to leveraging mobile technology that delivers access to basic healthcare and renewable energy, amongst other ripple benefits to the communities. By achieving these positive social returns, they have shown that business, innovation and technology are critical aspects in building peace and sustainable development.
“We are inspired and humbled by the work of these six game-changing winners, who are leveraging the power of technology and innovation to grow their business and scale their impact, all while building sustainable and inclusive peace in their communities,” Durreen Shahnaz, Founder and Chairwoman of Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), whose mission is to impact 100 million lives by 2020 through impact investing; in other words, by linking development with finance.
A strong underlying theme threading through the winning enterprises is their steadfast investment in women and youth as agents for peace and development. By empowering women and youth, these enterprises are enabling the most vulnerable sections of the community to become co-creators of prosperity and progress, instead of victims of conflict.
“The winners are celebrated, not just for their own impact and peacebuilding efforts, but also for the potential they represent through their innovative and replicable models that can transform millions of lives in Asia and beyond. There are fresh possibilities here for unlocking new sources of capital to expand current peacebuilding efforts,” Ms. Shahnaz added.
The six winning enterprises will present their solutions for peace and share their impact story in a celebration at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on 22 October 2015. To view their profiles, please visit iixnpeacechallenge.asiaiix.com.The IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge is a first-of-its-kind enterprise competition that catalyzes the convergence of business and peace. The Challenge enables Impact Enterprises (IEs), which include mission-driven social enterprises, SMEs with positive social impact, and revenue-generating non-profit organizations, to share how they are using market-based solutions to create positive impact that leads to scalable, sustainable and inclusive peace. The Challenge is a partnership between Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and N-Peace Network, a multi-country network of peace advocates in Asia that supports women’s leadership for conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding.
About the IIX-N-Peace-Innovation Challenge
The IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge 2015 is an Impact Enterprise (IE) competition that aims to accelerate Asia’s inclusive peacebuilding agenda by identifying and supporting IEs working to empower women, engage youth, and catalyze innovation and technology in a scalable and sustainable way. Starting with six countries this year – Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, the Challenge is a platform for existing mission-driven social enterprises, SMEs with positive social impact, and non-profits that generate revenue to showcase the positive impact they are creating to transform lives and magnify their ability to create sustainable and inclusive peace using market-based solutions. Six winners will be equipped with tools, networks and resources to deepen and scale their impact by providing them with tailored mentorship, impact assessment frameworks and intensive investment readiness services. The winners will be embraced as part of IIX’s community and connected with its network of +400 Impact Investors to help them raise capital to reach the next stage of growth.
The IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge is a joint initiative by the N-Peace Network, an inclusive peacebuilding initiative that promotes women’s leadership for transformation, and Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), whose mission is to impact 100 million lives by 2020 by linking development with finance.
About United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.
About N-Peace Network
N-Peace is a multi-country network of peace advocates in Asia seeking to advance Women, Peace & Security (WPS) issues. It supports women’s leadership for conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, and promotes the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and related resolutions, at regional, national and community levels. N-Peace is currently active in Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Afghanistan, and have also held activities in Timor-Leste and Sri Lanka. Our members represent civil society, government, non-government organizations, academia, United Nations agencies, religious groups and the media. N-Peace’s mission is to Engage for Peace, Equality, Access, Community and Empowerment. N-Peace was established in October 2010 by women peace advocates at a meeting held by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Asia-Pacific Regional Centre to mark the ten-year anniversary of UNSCR 1325. Today, over 2400 practitioners are connected though this vibrant network.
About Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX)
IIX is a Singapore-based organization with a mission to provide Social Enterprises (SEs) in Asia greater access to investment capital, allowing them to more rapidly expand the impact of their activities. IIX now offers three investment platforms – Impact Accelerator™, Impact Partners™ and Impact Exchange™. Impact Accelerator™ provides seed-stage SEs with mentorship and private capital through a structured and customized process. Impact Partners™ connects accredited impact investors to selected growth-stage SEs who are looking to raise investment capital. Impact Exchange™, the world’s first social stock exchange operated by the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in collaboration with IIX, is a regulated stock exchange dedicated to listing and trading securities issued by mature SEs and other socially-driven organizations. To date, IIX has facilitated $11 million of investment impacting more than 8.2 million people across Asia with $19.5 million in social value created. IIX is based in Singapore. For more information, visit asiaiix.com and follow us on Twitter @asiaiix and Facebook at facebook.com/asiaiix.
For additional information, please contact:
Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX)