Education

IIX Impact Chats Return with a Discussion of ‘Business for Inclusion’

Inclusion is a topic central to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In order to achieve the ambitious targets, it is essential for all people to become agents of change and contribute towards building a larger included society. Businesses, in particular, are crucial in creating innovative market-driven approaches that catalyze progress towards a future where no one is left behind.

IIX and the impact investing movement believes in creating a more inclusive world where financial systems, economic opportunities, and social good act as catalysts across geographies. To foster progress on this front and continue to be a thought leader, IIX has brought back its community-wide Impact Chat Series and congratulates its second cohort of international students from the IIX Impact Institute who recently completed their Executive Certificate Program.

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IIX Impact Institute: Join the Movement!

Over the years, impact investing has grown beyond entrepreneurs and investors, attracting an increasingly diverse array of stakeholders looking to play a catalytic role in the movement.

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10 Impact Terms You Need To Know

The first question anyone who is introduced to the impact investing world invariably asks is, ‘Can you have investments that can create immediate positive impact?’ and the second question is ‘Can you measure that impact?’. The answer to both these questions as we know is a resounding Yes, but then to explain how that happens takes a while – for most people the impact measurement field is a completely unknown one.  Thus, to grasp the nuances around it becomes difficult without understanding the basic terms.

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Philippines: The Rise of Millennial Impact Entrepreneurs

In the little island archipelago of Philippines in Southeast Asia—millennials are driving a dynamic economic transformation. Over 50% of the working-age population belong to the millennial generation, most of which is being absorbed by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), accounting for more than 99% of enterprises in the Philippines.

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Millennials Demand Change: Corporates Should Take Heed

In 2015, the millennial generation officially overtook the baby boomers as the largest generation in the US labor force and they are increasingly shaping the way people do business. A Deloitte survey about millennials in 2016 has shown that millennials have a positive view of business’ impact on society. However, they want businesses to focus more on people, products and purpose, and less on profits.

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First Round of Impact Accelerator Successfully Completed in the Philippines

IIX’s Impact Accelerator, an intensive acceleration program that provides mentorship, seed capital and ongoing advisory services to four Philippines-based Impact Enterprises over a period of six to eight months, successfully concluded in September 2015. Throughout the program, IIX and Shujog staff, as well as external experts, provided customized training and mentoring to each enterprise on specific key needs areas that were critical for their sustainable growth. Impact Accelerator culminated in Impact Showcase at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines, which provided the enterprises with the opportunity to pitch their businesses to potential investors and local ecosystem partners. Impact Showcase attracted fifty-two guests, including angel investors and twenty different organizations.

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THE RESILIENCE DIVIDEND – JUDITH RODIN

Dr. Judith Rodin, the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, begins the Resilience Dividend (2014) with a chilling warning: “we live in a world defined by disruption”. Disruption is inevitable, she writes, because of rapid urbanization, which increases disaster vulnerability and ecological decline; climate change, which increases risks to livelihoods, water, and the frequency of extreme weather; and globalization, which has created an increasingly interconnected economy that puts strains on individuals, families, enterprises, and governments. We live in a fragile world in which a disruption to one system can lead to a chain reaction of other failures.’

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100 Resilient Cities

In 1950, 746 million people lived in urban areas around the globe. Today, that number has risen to 3.9 billion, which equates to 54% of the world’s population. By 2050 this percentage is estimated to grow to 70%. As 21st century cities grow in size, they also grow in significance. Cities have become hubs for knowledge sharing, economic growth, and creativity and are at the forefront of global innovation.

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Impact Accelerator: Catalyzing the Development of Philippines-based Social Enterprises

I recently returned from a trip to the Philippines, where I was visiting the four winners of IIX’s Impact Accelerator program. Throughout the trip, I was constantly inspired by the passion of the social entrepreneurs and the sacrifices they endured in order to start their social venture. As I sat in a water pumping station in Orani Bataan, a town three hours outside of Manila, chatting with Stephen, the CEO of Hiraya Technology Solutions (a pioneering water enterprise that developed an advanced pressure management system to help water service providers adjust water pressure while reducing water waste), I started to become acutely aware of the enterprise’s key needs and the support it required to scale. This was an exciting challenge, but also a sobering one – it reminded me of the important role that Impact Accelerator plays in growing and scaling the impact of these innovative, early-stage enterprises.

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PER ASPERA AD ASTRA: The need to transform NGOs into high-impact, sustainable businesses

My journey at Shades of Happiness Foundation (SoH) taught me the true meaning of the Latin phrase, ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’ – ‘Through Hardship to the Stars’. SoH is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in India, with the mission to promote social inclusion by empowering underprivileged children with the knowledge and skills to pull themselves, and their families, out of poverty. The initial years taught me three key lessons. First, talent retention is extremely challenging when you’re working with unpaid volunteers and interns – which affects the organization’s ability to deepen impact. Second, not only is fundraising mystifying (and often terrifying) for NGOs, but relying on donations or grant funding is a highly unsustainable approach to scale impact. Third, without measuring your outcomes, it is virtually impossible to sustain the organization’s impact trajectory. SoH’s overarching vision to change the world to act as a level playing ground for children of all backgrounds seemed remote and unattainable.

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