Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a leader in social sector development through impact investing, recently announced its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action on Women’s Impact Bond (WIB) at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting.
The WIB will pool US$10 million into an investment vehicle that will support social enterprises and microfinance institutions working towards clean cook-stove initiatives. The WIB will be a publicly listed bond product on the Impact Exchange, the world’s first social stock exchange, allowing retail investors to participate in addition to traditional impact investors.
Over 12 months, IIX will develop a pipeline of potential WIB borrowers: revenue-generating organizations with proven impact to women’s lives, clear intention to scale, and capital requirements, accompanied by viable bond-repayment streams. IIX will then support these borrowers by structuring the WIB according to their capital needs and sources of repayment, defining a risk layering strategy, and developing a comprehensive impact measurement framework.
Through deployment of the funds raised, the WIB will help organizations scale their clean-cook stove businesses so that they can protect an additional 2.63 million people from harmful air pollution, benefit the lives of over 525 thousand women and in turn empower them through providing employment opportunities, increasing their social capital and facilitating their role as environmental stewards. In addition, the WIB aims to deliver environmental impact by avoiding emission of 315,000 tons of greenhouse gases and saves 456,000 tons of wood.
“Many organizations – including both NGOs and Social Enterprises—recognise the importance of focusing on women in development, but alarmingly, existing funding channels fall drastically short of development goals that benefit women,” said Durreen Shahnaz, Founder of IIX. “The WIB sets out to boldly change this, providing impact organizations with the capital they need up-front, to support women in the most vulnerable communities today.”
IIX will be collaborating with supporting partners in the development of the WIB. One such partner is Shearman & Sterling, a leading international law firm that will be working on the legal aspect of the bond issuance. Paul Strecker, head of Shearman & Sterling’s M&A group in Asia said “We are very pleased to be working with IIX and its strategic partners on this ground breaking transaction. We hope the success of this project will be a catalyst for the listing of impact investments globally”.
Bulbul Gupta, Head of Market-Based Approaches, Clinton Global Initiative adds, “CGI and IIX share a common passion for bringing women to the forefront of the global development agenda. The announcement of IIX’s Commitment to Action is only the beginning. We look forward to the next stage of supporting IIX and their commitment partners in developing the Women’s Impact Bond, and are excited about what the future holds with IIX as a member of our global community”.
IIX was approached by the CGI in February 2014 to join its diverse community of leaders including CEOs of the world’s largest companies, leading NGOs and foundations, government representatives, and prominent philanthropists.
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.
IIX now 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, IIX’s sister not-for-profit organization, Shujog, assists social enterprises through its proprietary impact assessment, research, advocacy and advisory work.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)—an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation—convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
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