East and Southeast Asia Impact Investing Forum
Over the past four years, significant progress has been made in defining and launching a global impact investing industry that seeks to mobilize capital in pursuit of a positive social and/or environmental benefit as well as a financial return. However, this activity has been heavily concentrated in the US and Europe. Emerging centers of global capitalism, including Shanghai, São Paulo, Johannesburg and Mumbai, have thus far not been adequately engaged in the development of a global impact investing industry. In an effort to address this North-South divide, The Rockefeller Foundation co-convened a forum on impact investing in Hong Kong on March 14 and 15, 2013, one of four such meetings planned across the “Global South”.
The East and Southeast Asia forum attracted close to 400 participants from 15 countries across the East and Southeast Asian region, reaching out as far as to the US and Europe. Active venture philanthropy and impact investing pioneers, forefront social enterprise and non-governmental practitioners, established community and corporate investors, as well as influential policy-makers and academics gathered at the forum to:
- Convene leading investors and other market participants in the region;
- Present recent analysis of the evolution and current state of the impact investing industry globally;
- Facilitate discussion among participants of barriers and opportunities for unlocking greater impact investment capital in the region;
- Create opportunities for regional leaders to build upon, and contribute to, a growing set of best practices in global impact investing.
The forum concluded with the launch of a regional challenge grant fund, which will solicit, via RFP, proposals for activities that respond to the barriers and opportunities that emerged during the forum. A select number of proposals will be chosen for funding based on how well they align with the overall objective of catalyzing collective action and regional market development.