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Social enterprise-focused Impact Enterprise Fund raises $8M in first tilt at $10-$15M target

Friday 9th February 2018

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Social enterprise-focused Impact Enterprise Fund has raised more than $8 million under its offer seeking $10 million-to-$15 million to invest in ventures that have a social or environmental impact as a market return.

The tie-up between the Akina Foundation, New Ground Capital, and Impact Ventures attracted cornerstone pledges from St John's College Trust Board and the Tindall Foundation, with interest also coming from overseas among its 35 investors, it said in a statement. The fund's board still sees the $10 million-to-$15 million target as attainable with a final close expected in late April, chair David Woods said. 

"Momentum behind impact investing in New Zealand is growing week-on-week, especially in well-publicised areas such as climate change," Woods said. "The fund is targeting market-rate financial returns, with the social or environmental impact element additional value creation rather than financial concession."

The fund is managed a general partner joint venture between social enterprise incubator Akina and boutique investment house New Ground Capital. Impact Ventures Ltd, which is owned by Chris Simcock, who was formerly on the investment banking team at First NZ Capital and used to advise the NEXT Foundation, provides corporate finance and advisory services to the fund. 

Social enterprises have been attracting wider public attention in recent months after the global after a world forum was held in Christchurch last September, and as a growing number of young entrepreneurs increasingly adopt a multi-pronged approach to developing business mandates.

The Impact Enterprise Fund will focus on expansion opportunities in fast-growing sectors such as sustainable food production, agriculture technology, healthcare, clean energy and education. It has previously indicated it would aim to invest in eight-to-15 firms based on the target capital raise. 

(BusinessDesk)

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