Benchmarking impact: Australian impact investment activity and performance report 2016

Social impact investing Social innovation Financial services industry Ethical investment Australia
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The Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investment is delighted to welcome this Report. It delivers on one of the actions identified in our 2014 strategy to catalyse the impact investment market.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the questionnaire, interviews and discussions. Acknowledgments are included later in the Report in recognition of contributions and partnerships that have made the work possible. Thanks also to all our local and international colleagues whose pioneering work has provided a foundation upon which this work has built.

Impact investing is capable of driving significant momentum and advances in how we tackle issues facing society. It can drive more investment into resolution of those issues rather than treating their symptoms. Impact investment is contributing positive effects internationally, catalysing new markets and encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation aimed at solving entrenched issues and creating sustainable solutions.

This report is a significant step forward in developing the robust data about the field needed to amplify the experience and achievements of pioneers and encourage those who remain on the side lines to enter. It is the first set of aggregated, market-based data on the performance of Australian impact investment products. It reveals past activity, and provides real insights about the choices, frameworks and practice being applied and to what effect. This will accelerate the way forward and provide keys to unlock scale and innovation to achieve both financial performance and impact.

The data describes what practitioners in the field are choosing to do and how they rationalise their choices. Benchmarking in a field such as ours, where many activities come together under one umbrella, is not an exact science. The rigour of this work — co-design with experts, a questionnaire to gather data tested with the market — frames a dynamic, field-generated picture of how much is being done, how well it is done and whether anyone is better of as a result. Over time, this will shape expectations for financial and impact performance across this diverse field.



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