30th June 2020
Partner, Jackson McDonald | Founding Member, Impact Investment WA Alliance
How lucky are we here in Western Australia! Our strength in the Last Economy helped WA to sail through the GFC and is helping us stay above water, so far, during this global pandemic. However, this time it’s different. We see it. We hear it. We feel it.
A New Economy is forming. If you are wondering what it looks like, it looks like WA during the first 3 months of lockdown. WA families found themselves putting human, social, intellectual and natural capital ahead of financial capital and it felt good.
When push comes to shove we can find our humanity, move quickly, collaborate, connect with what’s truly important and find comfort with the simple things in life. Our planet Earth that sustains us began to flourish as she was also able to breathe again. We also found we had more time and less distractions so we spent time outside in nature. We found our Natural Capital.
We were shown a window into the New Economy and the window glass is broken. Time to climb through.
WA, entrusted with abundant renewal resources and great people, is uniquely placed to flourish and prosper in the New Economy. Strong local Impact Investment and Social Enterprises are part this New Economy. We need to nurture and accelerate their growth during this period of transition. Home to the oldest continuous living culture and economy, custodians of the amazing land on which we live, our First Nations are also critical to guide us into the New Economy. By actively listening to indigenous people, we may actually find that was Old is New again.
Our New Economy needs meaningful WA government support in our social, environmental and cultural infrastructure, more than it needs new roads. I believe this is the fastest way to create many more meaningful profitable enterprises and jobs and stronger communities here in WA.
If WA is to stand on the shoulders of the Last Economy to take its place and lead in the New Economy, then now is the time to send a loud and clear message that WA has what it takes to get there.
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Launch of the IIWA with Treasurer Ben Wyatt, September, 2019
The Impact Investment Alliance (WA) (IIWA) is Western Australia’s key reference group for market development and stewardship of impact investment in WA. The Alliance objectives are to:
Impact Investment sees investors actively seek out funding opportunities that are focused on generating actively measured social, cultural and environmental impacts, alongside a sustainable financial return. The result allows investors to sustainability contribute to their communities while meeting their investment objectives. Types of impact investment include early or late stage funding for social enterprises, or equity/debt investment into investable impact projects in areas as diverse as housing, clean energy, regenerative agriculture, agroforestry; It can also be supported through instruments such as social procurement (mandating a target for purchasing through social enterprises, or pay for performance contracts such as social impact bonds.
A Social Enterprise is a unique entity that is impact-mission driven, and uses a financially sound business model to create actively-measured social, cultural and environmental impact. It derives most of its income from trade of goods or services (i.e. 50% of less of its income is from grants) and it reinvests a significant proportion of its profit in furthering its mission.
IIWA is Western Australia’s key reference group for market development and stewardship of impact investment in WA. The Alliance objectives are to:
-Improve the accessibility, literacy and definition of impact investment, ensuring an accurate and complete understanding of the discipline,
-Develop innovative, compelling policy recommendations towards a comprehensive central government policy approach to impact investment and social enterprise development in WA.
-Improve standards for impact measurement, simplifying and strengthening the investment comparison process for investors,
–Provide a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise in the field of impact investment in Western Australia,
-Advocate and educate the wider community about the benefits of impact investment for all Western Australians.