Impact investments are made in organisations and funds with the intention of generating social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. They are a positive next step for investors who want to go beyond ethical approaches (e.g. divestment from fossil fuels) to targeting social enterprise and other vehicles offering sustainable solutions to the ‘wicked’ problems of our age like poverty and climate change.

Around the world, impact investment is attracting a variety of investors (including individuals, philanthropists, institutions, and governments) and provides an additional financing option to advance social and environmental solutions.

Mirroring these global developments, interest in impact investment in New Zealand is on the rise. Part of that growth has seen a group from philanthropy, social enterprise, and related sectors establish an Impact Investing Network. As an emerging community of practice grows, the network will enable connection, education, and investment.

Anyone can access the Network. It’s a great opportunity to join New Zealand’s growing ecosystem of impact investors, intermediaries, and investment opportunities/deal making. The Network will be of particular interest to philanthropic organisations and individuals who want to find new ways of creating social and environmental value by more closely aligning their investing activities with the aims of their grantmaking, and in better harnessing the power of their balance sheets.

A critical next step is the establishment of a National Impact Investment Advisory Board. The Board will help lead market development and enable New Zealand to take advantage of a growing global infrastructure. Network members are currently commenting on the terms of reference and selection process for the Board which will be launched in 2018.

The Tindall Foundation has been an active impact investor for a number of years and has joined the NZ Impacting Investing Network. We encourage you to join the Network, participate in sharing what’s happening around New Zealand and the globe, and connect with others working on the challenges of sustainably resourcing social and environmental good. Sign up to become a member here.

Ākina Foundation has recently appointed David Woods to assist with the implementation of the National Advisory Board for the network. David has spent the last 30 years working in various management and governance roles at financial service organisations around the globe. His most recent role was as Managing Director of Oikocredit International, a large micro finance cooperative based in the Netherlands, which supports financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy in the developing world.