Impact Bulletin from Impact Investment Exchange Asia

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Greetings from Impact Investment Exchange Asia!



We hope you had a wonderful start to the year.

Our year began with a bang with our first Impact Forum for Social Change in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January. The Forum was a joint effort between IIX and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The event was an amazing success, as leaders from the public and private sectors and civil society came together, rolled up their sleeves and made their mark on the space of impact investment in Bangladesh.We owe a big thank you to ADB, the IIX/Shujog team, the participants from Bangaldesh and those who flew in from around the world to participate in the forum.

Just a couple of days ago, we hosted our second Impact Forum for Social Change in Bangkok . This time, in addition to ADB, we had Global Social Venture Competition and Thammasat University working with us. The Forum was outstanding.Stay tuned for highlights on this forum in our next newsletter or visit ADB’s website for details.

At IIX, our focus turns now to the launch of our Impact Partners platform at the end of March. The platform aims to showcase investment opportunities in Asian social enterprises to qualified impact investors.  We have some incredible Social Enterprises that we will be showcasing when we go live. If you are an impact investor and want to join the platform or a social enterprise that wants to showcase your investment opportunity, please contact us.

On the Shujog side, we have been busy with our research work, the Social Enterprise mapping we are conducting and, of course, carrying out Impact Assessments. The team is starting a wave of field work and is quite excited about traveling all over Asia.

So, lots happening, and lots more to do.If you are in the area do drop by and meet some of the people who are making all this happen.

With best wishes from a warm Singapore –


Now accepting applications for Master in Public Administration and Master in Public Management programmes. Click above to learn more.

Impact Forum Bangladesh

Ideas Transformed Into Action – Mona Sinha

The new year heralded our first Impact Forum, held in Bangladesh on January 10th and 11th.It was a culmination of a year of strategizing, planning and at the end, detailed event execution that showcased the work of IIX and Shujog to a diverse audience from all over the world.

For me personally, it marked almost a year of my involvement with the organization – a buzzing, vibrant, energetic venture spearheaded by passionate people who pulled me into the effort to create what has never before existed – a social stock exchange!

Our partners in this event, ADB, were just as enthused to showcase Bangladesh as we were.The day before the actual Forum, a group of attendees ranging from Bart Edes of ADB to Margot Brandenberg from the Rockefeller Foundation to investors, attendees and our student volunteers from ULab in Dhaka headed off with Alvin Loke, my co-organizer, to visit Waste Concern.They heard all about the challenges and future plans of the company and visited a composting plant in Bulta – a truly hands-on experience.

That evening, we kicked off an Impact Reception with a panel discussion for our esteemed guests, partners and leaders from the Bangladesh private sector.

Early the next morning (by Bangladeshi standards anyway) the halls leading to the event room started getting busy with attendees (representing Bangladeshi enterprises, corporate citizens, ecosystem players, supporters and students) who were efficiently checked in by our student volunteers.Over twenty journalists also buzzed about ready to interview speakers and participants all day.Our event opened with a keynote address by Hon Masihur Rahman, advisor to the Prime Minister, who congratulated us on our venture and highlighted some challenges that entrepreneurs can face.Bart and Durreen welcomed the attendees and we were off to a great start!

As the Dhaka Stock Exchange witnessed its greatest fall in a single day, Impact Investment Exchange had a roomful of people riveted as they heard about a new way of raising capital for social good.Panels of investors, ecosystem players (lawyers, bankers, accountants in Bangladesh) and finally our star Social Enterprises (Kazi Tea of Bangladesh and Excellent Renewable of India) pledged their commitment and innovative solutions to real social problems.The audience asked questions and stayed engaged through the day.

The highlight of the Forum was the session on “Ideas to Action”where groups of 8-10 attendees (representing overseas guests and local leaders) committed to bring about sustainable social change in Bangladesh.This was the genesis of Bangladesh Impact Investment Network – now an ongoing group of people based in Bangladesh who have taken ownership of the challenges that the Forum highlighted and will create the change at the local level.Whether it is educating people about sustainable social entrepreneurship,highlighting specific sectoral development, raising a local social venture fund, providing reduced-fee or pro-bono services at the corporate level or simply meeting once a month to exchange information about the latest global developments in Impact Investing, this group is the pulse we have left behind in Dhaka.A pulse that will move Bangladesh forward and provide a blueprint to be used in other countries where we will hold more Fora.

A great start to a great year.When I think about how we pulled it off, with I being based in Hong Kong, Alvin being in Philadelphia and Durreen, Lina, Debra and Hung-yi in Singapore, it redefines what teamwork truly is!Congratulations all on a wonderful start to 2011.

For more information, please click here to visit the Forum section of our website.

An Intern’s Reflection on the Trip To Dhaka – Alvin Loke

After interning at IIX this past summer and subsequently returning to school for fall semester, I had the privilege of spending winter break working at IIX. This time, I was involved in organizing the inaugural Impact Forum, held in Dhaka. I was excited; as this week-long trip would mark the first time I had ever travelled to the South Asian subcontinent.

Although this was a working trip, and most of each day was spent meeting with the hotel managers and coordinating student volunteers from ULAB, I managed to find pockets of time to explore Dhaka city and do some shopping for local fair trade products at the Aarong and Jatra stores. Through the trip, I became well acquainted with the huge crowds in densely-populated Dhaka, and learned to appreciate the notorious Dhaka traffic!

My week in Dhaka was a thoroughly eye-opening experience. One of the most interesting and inspiring experiences was the visit to Waste Concern, a local Social Enterprise. We met with the co-founders of the venture who shared about their company and their inspiring story. After lunch, we visited their composting plant in Bulta, where we were led on a tour of the facilities and learned more about the composting process. The visit to the composting plant was another first for most of us on the visit.

Finally, the highlight of my trip had to be the inaugural Impact Forum which turned out to be a huge success. The forum marked the culmination of months of hard work from the entire team, especially in the weeks leading up to the forum. What made it even sweeter was hearing the positive feedback from the forum participants themselves, who ranged across academics, to investors to social enterprise representatives.

I have to thank IIX for giving me this amazing opportunity. These past few months have been a memorable time for me, and I would not trade this experience for anything else. I hope to visit Dhaka again soon to experience the city fully, and perhaps this time, I will get to take a rickshaw ride – which I hear is a “must-try” in Dhaka city!

IIX Business Highlights

Impact Partners Launch

At the end of March, we are launching Impact Partners, the first of IIX’s platforms. Impact Partners is a private, online platform to introduce impact investors to high quality, pre-screened social enterprises, including both for-profit and not-for-profit entities with social missions ranging from clean technology, renewable energy, education, healthcare to microfinance. Impact Partners represents an efficient and cost-effective way for inspired investors to identify, evaluate and fund innovative businesses while creating social, environmental and financial value. Social enterprises on the platform are assessed both on their social impact and financial capability through a market readiness assessment. Investors can be assured of access to a wide range of impact investing opportunities from across Asia-Pacific. Join Impact Partners now and directly empower social enterprises to magnify their impact and address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. Contact En Lee , Director of Impact Partners, to register your interest.

Ecosystem Research and Engagement

IIX has been carrying out extensive research to map out the impact investment ecosystem across Asia-Pacific with a focus on Singapore, India, Thailand and Bangladesh.The impact investment ecosystem includes accounting firms, lawyers, credit rating agencies, financial advisors, academia, regulators and government bodies whose support is critical in getting a social enterprise ready to access the capital markets.The recent ADB-sponsored Forums in Bangladesh and Thailand showcased the involvement of many of these players in supporting impact investment and provided opportunities to reach out to additional players in these markets.

Partnership with Asia Society

The Asia Society Philippines and IIX recently signed an agreement to work jointly in getting social enterprises in the Philippines ready to access social capital markets. ADB and Asia Society will jointly host workshops in Manila for interested social enterprises. The workshops will be conducted by the IIX team, and will help to identify suitable enterprises as candidates for the Impact Partners and Impact Exchange platforms.

Now accepting applications for Master in Public Administration and Master in Public Management programmes. Click above to learn more.

Shujog Business Highlights

Impact Assessments

We are busy performing impact assessments on social enterprises at Shujog!

Shujog’s impact assessment work caters to a variety of stakeholders.We help social enterprises better communicate the impact of their activities to potential investors. And, we help investors measure the impact of their investments to ensure their investments are meeting their goals.

Shujog is currently busy working with the first batch of social enterprises looking to raise capital on IIX’s Impact Partners platform.To this end, Shujog assesses the individual enterprise’s impact, its financial sustainability, and its market readiness.Shujog is also partnering with B Lab and the Rockefeller Foundation in the roll-out of the Global Impact Investing Rating System in Asia, and will work with three pioneer funds in Vietnam and Bangladesh to assess the impact of their portfolio companies.

Shujog offers everyone the chance to get involved by sponsoring mission-driven social enterprises across Asia in their incredible work.  Please contact us if you would like to sponsor an impact assessment.

Impact Chats: A Snapshot of the Year

The growth of the Impact Chat discussion series is a reflection of how deeply engaged and curious people are about the impact investing and social enterprise space.

Held monthly in Singapore, covering a wide range of topics and speakers, the Impact Chat series has grown to become ‘the discussion series’ to attend in Singapore for those who want to learn more about the social innovation space. Impact Chats are now asked to be hosted in partnership with academic and corporate institutions across Singapore brining in over a hundred people, with the latest chats held in conjunction with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore in January and Deutsche Bank’s Women’s Network in February.

The Impact Chat series (Oct 2010 – March 2011) is made possible by Corum Swiss Watches, and we send a heartfelt thank-you to its Asia Managing Director, Ms. Deepa Chatrath, for supporting this series and creating a forum in which new ideas in the dynamic field of social enterprise and impact investing have flourished.

If you are in Singapore and want to attend our chats, please let us know as seats go fast!

See you at our next Chat!

Dr. Lester Salomon of Johns Hopkins University at our January Impact Chat

Vol. 1 Issue 4
In This Issue
Impact Forums
IIX Highlights
Shujog Highlights
Impact Chats
Meet Our New Team Members
IIX in the News


Newsletter Sponsor:


Meet Our New Team Members

En Lee

En joined IIX as the Director of Impact Partners. Formerly, En was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and a Corporate Associate at Freshfields. En is actively involved with charity work, philanthropy and impact investing. He is an avid traveler and writes for an international, sustainable lifestyle magazine.

Shlesha Thapaliya

Shlesha Thapaliya is a Research Analyst at Shujog. Previously, she was an Editor/Translator at the United Nations Mission in Nepal and Research Executive at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. She has a keen interest in social policy and sustainable economic development. She holds a BA in Political Science and Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College.

IIX in the News

The Business Times

To Market with a Social Conscience

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March 2011
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