SINGAPORE—Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) has kicked-off a first-of-its-kind Women’s Livelihood Bond due to be launched in early 2016, as part of its commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative.
The Women’s Livelihood Bond is the first among IIX’s Sustainability Bonds—a series of replicable innovative financial instruments that mobilize private capital for development. Designed to transform the lives of over half-a-million women in Asia, IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond is set to raise $20 million in capital for a pool of underlying issuers, consisting of social enterprises and micro-finance institutions, that focus on empowering women.
“Women are critical stakeholders in equitable and sustainable development and yet, current funding channels fall tragically short of supporting women to achieve development goals in a large-scale way,” said Professor Durreen Shahnaz, Founder of IIX and Impact Investment Shujog Limited (Shujog). “IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond represents a bold step in changing this; it is designed to empower over half a million women and their families in the most vulnerable communities in Asia, to shift from subsistence living towards sustainable and resilient livelihoods.”
Supported by key partners that include The Rockefeller Foundation, Japan Research Institute Limited, Center for High Impact Philanthropy of the University of Pennsylvania, and Shearman and Sterling LLP, IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond is en route to becoming listed on the Impact Exchange, the world’s first Social Stock Exchange started by IIX. Structured to unlock capital from impact investors, the funds raised by the Women’s Livelihood Bond will enable high-impact social enterprises and micro-finance institutions to scale their operations and magnify their impact on women across Asia by providing them with increased access to skills, capital, market linkages and natural resources.
Through IIX, a pipeline of potential borrowers with proven track record of positive impact on women’s lives, clear intention to scale, capital requirements, and viable bond-repayment avenues, are currently being lined. Thus, this bond will pool together a group of issuers and diversify the risk-return structure of the bond, in effect ensuring repayment of the bond and the social impact deliverables. Concurrently, IIX’s sister company Shujog, will also be applying its tailored, bottom-up approach in measuring impact to ensure that demonstrable social outcomes are achieved.
With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, Shujog will develop a Blueprint Paper of the Women’s Livelihood Bond, which will capture the entire mechanism of the bond, from design to issuance on the Impact Exchange.
“We believe that IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond is a very promising innovation with the potential of unlocking large amounts of new capital for sustainable development, and The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support this work as part of its Zero Gap effort,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are excited to share the blueprint paper and look forward to the possibilities that this could open up for mobilizing capital for social good.”
“Scaling up impact is at the core of our business. By sharing the blueprint openly, we want to enable uptake and replication of the instrument, and to open the floodgates of private capital in accelerating the development agenda,” added Professor Durreen Shahnaz.
About Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX)
IIX is a Singapore-based organization with a mission to provide Social Enterprises (SEs) in Asia greater access to investment capital, allowing them to more rapidly expand the impact of their activities. IIXnow offers three investment platforms—Impact Accelerator™, Impact Partners™ and Impact Exchange™. Impact Accelerator™ provides seed-stage SEs with mentorship and private capital through a structured and customized process. Impact Partners™ connects accredited impact investors to selected growth-stage SEs who are looking to raise investment capital. Impact Exchange™, the world’s first social stock exchange operated by the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in collaboration with IIX, is a regulated stock exchange dedicated to listing and trading securities issued by mature SEs and other socially-driven organizations. Lastly, Shujog, IIX’s not-for-profit sister organization, assists social enterprises through its proprietary impact assessment, research, advocacy and advisory work. To date, IIX has facilitated $11 million of investment impacting more than 8 million people across Asia with nearly $19.5 million in social value created. IIX is based in Singapore.
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