16 Sep 2014

NAB’s $1 million to boost impact investment opportunities

NAB today announced a $1 million fund to support organisations in delivering finance solutions for important social issues.

The NAB Impact Investment Grants Program builds on the bank’s belief that the finance sector should play a major role in addressing the significant growing social and environmental challenges facing Australia.

NAB Executive General Manager Debt Markets and Impact Investing Australia board member, Steve Lambert, said impact investment had the potential to change the way the country addresses social issues.

“There is a fundamental shift underway to address the challenges facing Australia in the future. We want to show that access to capital can increase the impact that the community sector and social purpose organisations can deliver for our people and communities to prosper,” Mr Lambert said.

“NAB also believes we have a responsibility to deliver holistic and innovative financial solutions that help our customers address social and environmental problems through impact investment.”

There are a growing number of impact investment opportunities in the market however many are not quite investment-ready and therefore often require advice (financial or business planning) to prepare themselves for investment.

NAB General Manager Corporate Responsibility, Paula Benson, said the $1 million fund would support organisations that might have a great business model but were still preparing a case for financing.

“Our grants program will allow NAB to deliver finance solutions to more organisations doing great work in our communities and pave the way for others to follow,” Ms Benson said.

The NAB fund was announced in conjunction with the Impact Investing Australia report, released today, which details a clear strategy to tackle social issues through impact investing.

The Delivering on Impact strategy, part of a global push by the G8’s Social Impact Investment Taskforce, refers to the need for an Australian fund to equip social purpose organisations to attract finance.

“We hope that our initial contribution of $1 million will act as the seed for this and we invite other organisations to step up and join us,” Ms Benson said.

The fund will be jointly-managed with Impact Investing Australia and co-designed with The Difference Incubator to build on global best practice and be scaled to meet Australia’s needs.

Impact investment is a developing global market, creating opportunities for investors seeking to address social or environmental challenges and generate a financial return. NAB is the founding partner of Impact Investing Australia.

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