On November 7, five leaders in the impact investment sector in Australia were honoured at the inaugural Australian Impact Investment Awards. A collaboration between the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific and the Impact Investing Hub, the awards recognise outstanding activity and individuals in the Australian impact investing ecosystem.
The awards were presented at the Summit Dinner by Judi Drown, the Director of the Social Impact Investing Unit in the Government’s Department of Social Services, representing the six member judging panel.
“We were delighted to see the quality of the applications for these inaugural awards and are thrilled to have the opportunity to acknowledge inspiring leaders and innovators within the Australian impact investing ecosystem,” said Jessica Roth on behalf of the Impact Investing Hub.
“This market is growing rapidly and there are so many remarkable people and organisations that are driving an ever-increasing amount of Australian capital being deployed for good. We can see this in the increasing number of deals being listed on the Impact Investing Hub,” commented Jessica.
“We were privileged to host the awards at this remarkable story-sharing evening,” said Melanie Greblo, the Executive Director of the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific. “The Summit’s theme of Wisdom, Courage, Action served as the ideal backdrop for what the awards represent to everyone in the impact investment community.” The Summit dinner was sponsored by the New South Wales Office of Social Impact Investment (OSII).
The four categories of the Awards mirror the global categories of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen and we thank the GSG for sharing their process.
The winners of the awards are:
- Impact Entrepreneur of the Year: Jordan O’Reilly, Co-founder, Hireup – Jordan is a visionary entrepreneur who has built Hireup into a multi award-winning company with over 45,000 registered users and a team of over 100 staff, following an impact investment equity round of $2.4m. Hireup is a profit-for-purpose social enterprise that empowers people with disability to find, hire and manage their support workers.
- Asset Manager of the Year: Social Ventures Australia – Social Ventures Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that invests in organisations that are tackling Australia’s most pressing societal problems. In the last year, Social Ventures Australia has launched a new $15m Diversified Impact Fund with an innovative downside protection structure, launched Australia’s first social impact bond tackling youth unemployment, and secured a further $40m commitment from superannuation fund HESTA for the Social Impact Investment Trust.
- Impact Asset Owner of the Year: QBE Insurance Group – QBE’s Premiums4Good initiative allows its clients to direct up to 25% of their insurance premiums into impact investment, and is now 34 investments globally with a value of circa US$470m. This innovative way of mobilising capital for impact is a leading example of how large institutional investors can have a substantial impact portfolio driven by customers where social value is integrated with business value.
- Impact Market Builder of the Year: Impact Investing Australia – Impact Investing Australia exists with the sole focus of building Australia’s impact investing market. One important way Impact Investing Australia is achieving this goal is by providing social enterprises with better support to raise impact capital via Impact Investment Readiness Growth Grants (IIRGG). It has deployed $1.75 million in IIRGG grant funding so far in order to help 29 mission-driven organisations in 10 identified areas be ready to secure funding at an average leverage of 20x the capital of the grant.
When assessing the nominations, there was one individual who stood out to the judges due to her significant contributions to the impact investment ecosystem across multiple categories. Kylie Charlton was presented with the ‘X Factor’ award for Outstanding Achievement. Kylie is the Chief Investment Officer at Australian Impact Investments (who acts as impact asset consultants to Koda Capital and Ethinvest), she is a Venture Partner for the Giant Leap VC fund, and she is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Unitus Capital, amongst a number of other roles.
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