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Impact Investment Summit

3 April 2024

In March 2024, the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific convened for its annual gathering, marking nearly a decade of impactful discussions. The focus was on achieving a just transition in finance, prioritising social, cultural, and environmental equity. Notably, the summit emphasised the pivotal role of Indigenous and First Nations voices in driving meaningful change. Throughout various sessions, speakers highlighted the importance of centring these voices in decision-making processes to ensure fairness.

The summit served as a platform for Indigenous-led initiatives like First Australians Capital and Black Excellence Fund to share their experiences and insights. Their work in providing culturally-appropriate capital to Indigenous-led businesses highlighted the necessity of supporting the First Nations economy and addressing historical injustices.

Additionally, practical strategies for impact investing were explored in sessions ranging from fostering inclusivity to catalysing change through foundations. Discussions included the role of mission-aligned investing and the importance of investor readiness to support impactful projects. At a sold-out breakfast discussion on catalytic capital, our CEO Georgina Byron and Ben Smith from Paul Ramsay Foundation shared insights, learnings and examples of their growing catalytic investments. Alongside were some of our inspiring investees: Snow Entrepreneurs Pia Clinton-Tarestad from Clean Slate Clinic and Geoffrey Smith from Australian Spatial Analytics, and Matthew Tominc from Conscious Investment Management.

Another standout session featured the Foundations Group for Impact Investing (FGII) and Global Sisters, an organisation dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs. Global Sisters showcased their experience in fostering gender-lens investments and promoting systemic change. They emphasised the need for equitable power dynamics in partnerships (such as investors and investees), advocating for respectful relationships and amplifying the voices of end beneficiaries. Their insights underscored the critical role of gender-lens investing in driving positive social and economic outcomes.

The Summit also provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to showcase their catalytic investment opportunities, furthering the dialogue on impactful change. The Opportunities Showcase featured five of our social entrepreneurs presenting their current and upcoming catalytic investment opportunities: Melissa Reader – The Violet Initiative and Snow Entrepreneurs Joel Anderson – Foremind, Melanie Greblo – Scriibed, Maryanne Harris – RoboFit, Summer Petrosius – Kindship.

Overall, the event provided a place for sharing experiences, networking and exploring innovative approaches to drive positive transformation, serving as a catalyst for collaboration and action to creating a more equitable and sustainable future.