Australian Impact Investment Wholesaler Announced
21 October 2015 at 10:37 am
The blueprint for an impact investment wholesaler, charged with distributing funds to intermediaries who will then invest directly in social enterprises, Not for Profits and other organisations, is to launch in Australia.
Co-Founder of Impact Investing Australia (IIA), Rosemary Addis, announced at the Impact Investment Summit that Impact Capital Australia would be, “an important wholesale institution that can really be the driver to prime the pump… to really be an institution that can help to grow the participation in impact investing from a really broad base to stimulate innovation and diversity in the Australian market.”
The official blueprint will be released next week and IIA remained tight-lipped about the full details at the Summit.
But Board Director of Big Society Capital, David Carrington, said Australia’s model is likely to be similar the UK counterpart.
“It’s an institution which has been set-up with two purposes, one of which is to distribute, over the last two and the next four or five years, about £600 million into intermediaries which are in turn investing directly into social enterprises and Not for Profit organisations across the UK,” Carrington said.
“We’re a wholesaler, we invest in intermediaries, they do the direct work with the social enterprises, so it’s not unsimilar to the sounds of what’s going to be announced soon here in Australia.”
Big Society Capital was established through government legislation three years ago, but is an independent company with no government representation or direct influence on its activities.
The organisation’s second task is to build the social investment market in the UK, which Carrington said is likely to become more important than distributing funds.
“What we inherited is and remains a very messy, rather incoherent, rather embryonic market,” he said.
“Lots of players bursting with enthusiasm are trying to turn their passion for social and financial return into reality, they’re finding it challenging, they’re finding it difficult, they’re finding scepticism in government, in the corporate sector, in the social enterprise sector itself.
“[They] are not convinced this is a useful addition to the menu of finance or the right sort of finance, but they are doing some fantastic work and they are developing it very fast.
“We’re seeing social enterprises of all stages accessing forms of social investment.”
IIA will announce the details for Impact Capital Australia (ICA) on 28 October at it’s “What’s next for scaling impact investing in Australia?” event at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne.
“ICA is being designed as an independent financial institution with a mission to create impact for society and a unique mandate to drive development of impact investment,” IIA said.
“It is designed to be a game changer to mobilise capital and other resources and transform the way Australia deals with social and environmental issues.”
The inaugural Impact Investment Summit in Sydney was hosted by Impact Investing Australia which brought international keynote speakers and Australian experts together.