A new ‘Current Deals’ Library has been launched by the Social Impact Hub Clinic to connect investors and investees in the growing impact investment market.
The Impact Investing Hub site is open to the public, and can be used by both retail and sophisticated investors. Three teams of UNSW Law and Business School students were involved in building the Impact Investing Hub site over the last year.
Director of the Social Impact Hub, Jessica Roth said that the need for this resource was identified at the 2016 Impact Investment Summit, “participants noted that although information was readily available during the Summit, it was largely inaccessible during the remainder of the year”.
The Australian impact investing market is forecast to exceed $32 billion by 2022, however the need for access to information on live deals has been identified in order to reach this.
The new ‘Current Deals site is a ground-breaking shift in how Australians can access the impact investment market. It facilitates access to impact deals, increasing the amount of capital for good. The number of listings on launch shows the growth of the market in recent years, and this is set to accelerate especially as more superannuation funds start to impact invest, following the lead of HESTA and Christian Super.
“The goal is to support the growth of the Australian impact investment sector, and in so doing, help finance solutions to some of our most challenging social and environmental issues,” said Roth.
Both equity and debt investments are listed on the site and open for investment. Some include impact bonds involving the Queensland Government, funds such as the Social Ventures Australia Diversified Impact Fund, and direct equity investments in early stage impact start-ups.
The site summarises the basic information of current deals in the impact investing ecosystem, including the forecasted financial return and social impact. Its user-friendly design makes it easy for investors to access information and contact issuers directly for more information about the deal. The site also contains a map of past deals and the key players in the growing impact investment ecosystem.
The site was built with the generous support of the Impact Investment Summit. Impact Investing Australia and Ashurst provided valuable pro bono assistance. The Responsible Investment Association of Australia and Philanthropy Australia are strategic partners of the project.
According to Michelle Siu, a Law student involved in the project who has just finished the course, being part of the Impact Investing Hub project was a great “opportunity to participate in a real-life project that made a positive difference and created social impact.”