Impact Economy Innovations Fund

In March 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation and Asia Community Ventures  invited proposals from organizations interested in receiving support for initiatives aimed at fostering East and South East Asia impact economy, specifically by aiding the growth of the impact investing industry and social enterprise sector. We received over 40 quality submissions over a wide range of sectors and are in the process of short-listing the submissions.
 
Objectives
In general, the Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF) will fund projects that seek to enable earlier stage capital solutions, foster entrepreneurial ecosystems, produce research into policy development, promote and establish impact investing industry infrastructure, develop market ecosystems for specific sectors and form leadership and networking platforms for common actions.
Specific funding priorities of the IEIF are influenced by the directions set at the Impact Investing forum (IIF), held on 14 - 15 March 2013 in Hong Kong, and co-hosted by Asia Community Ventures and The Rockefeller Foundation.
 
Amount
Organizations may apply to the IEIF for grants of up to 18 months; with a request of up to US$100,000 per proposal. Applicants may participate in more than one grant proposal. The IEIF seeks to support approximately 3-4 proposals. Total funds available for this RFP are US$400,000.
 
Advisory Committee
 
Announcement from Rockefeller Foundation (November 26, 2013)
The Rockefeller Foundation and our partner Asia Community Ventures are pleased to announce the recipients of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF) in East and Southeast Asia. The Impact Economy Innovations Fund was launched at the Impact Investing Forum held in Hong Kong on March 14-15, 2013, with the aim to catalyze collective action and regional market development that will accelerate market driven solutions for advancing some of the most important development challenges. This was a $400,000 grant fund aimed at supporting 3-4 proposals that will help foster the impact economy in the region. We are thrilled by the number and quality of proposals we received: over 40 proposals were submitted from 8 countries, for a wide range of work designed to build the field of impact investing and social enterprise sector in these sub-regions.
 
The winners of the East and Southeast Asia IEIF are:
 
AKSI UI Foundation was awarded $123,000 to provide capacity building to early-stage social entrepreneurs by mentoring, training, convening and providing seed funding application support. Although there is growing awareness of social enterprises as scalable market-based solutions that can help address social and environmental problems, the field is still very nascent in Indonesia. This grant will strengthen the pipeline of viable impact enterprises, as well as help grow a support network for social enterprises consisting of professionals, intermediary organizations and investors who will play an important role in catalyzing the growth of the impact economy in the country. AKSI UI Foundation will be working with a number of partners within and outside of the region including UnLtd UK.
 
Change Fusion was awarded $99,450 to conduct a comprehensive market assessment of financing needs of Southeast Asia’s social enterprises and local social finance intermediaries, especially from debt perspective; and to facilitate cross-regional knowledge sharing and capacity building of professional organizations working on various debt-based impact financing solutions that will help develop solutions to address the financing needs of early-stage impact enterprises in Southeast Asia. The project will focus on Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, however, it is expected that the solutions identified will have region-wide applicability.
 
Kopernik was awarded $80,028 to conduct a comprehensive survey of low-cost, technology-based social impact measurement tools and to produce a catalog for practitioners in the impact investing and impact enterprise sector.  While metrics for measuring social and environmental impacts of companies and funds such as Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) and Global Impact Investing Ratings System (GIIRS) exist, there are several barriers to broad adoption of these metrics. The key barriers include low availability of appropriate tools to capture data and the relatively high cost of measurement. The project will create a user-friendly resource for practitioners looking for cost-effective methods to track and analyze social impact data with the view to improve transparency and understanding of the impact investing industry’s results.
 
The Spark Center for Social Entrepreneurship Development was awarded $97,614 to provide capacity building and investment readiness support to social enterprises in Vietnam by connecting them to new and emerging incubators in the region. The project will develop a marketplace that will improve accessibility to high quality technical support and service providers. The project will also facilitate learning partnerships among incubators through peer learning support activities with the view to promote best practices. This project will strengthen existing efforts to create an ecosystem conducive to enterprise development to help them scale their impact.
 
The Rockefeller Foundation is thrilled to support the four winners, who each represent a unique and critical component in building the impact investing industry and social enterprise sector within this region. The Foundation will work with the awardees and other partners moving forward to foster collective actions that will support innovative solutions to address some of the biggest challenges in the region.
 
Reference
Summary of the East and Southeast Asia Impact Investing Forum in Hong Kong can be found here: IIF HK Summary