Save the Children Australia is proud to be included on the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List for the first time.
The prestigious annual list, published by The Australian Financial Review BOSS publication, assesses companies’ top innovations against nine elements science has shown to drive innovation. The judges look at how valuable the problem is that the innovation is solving, the quality and uniqueness of the solution, and the level of impact that the innovation has had.
Save the Children Australia was ranked ninth in the government, education and not-for-profit category for its Impact Investment Fund. The Impact Investment Fund is the first of its kind in the not-for-profit sector in Australia, raising funding from investors to provide loans and equity investments to enterprises that are directly improving the lives of vulnerable children and families.
“Save the Children has ambitious goals – to ensure no child dies of a preventable cause, all children get a quality basic education, and no child is subject to violence. Such bold goals cannot be achieved without employing innovative approaches,” CEO Mat Tinkler said.
“We recognise that relying on traditional charity business models alone will not be sufficient to meet our ambitions, while at the same time start-ups and social enterprises often lack the capital to achieve impact at scale.
“Our Impact Investment Fund marries these two structures to meaningfully address some of the world’s most complex problems.
“We are proud to be recognised as an industry innovator and thank our partners who are motivated to have a positive impact with their investment portfolios.”
Save the Children Australia’s Impact Investment Fund harnesses the investment power of philanthropic, corporate, and high-net-worth partners to grow impact-led startups. Since 2021, the Fund has raised $7.4 million through the support of partners such as anchor investor QBE Insurance and pro bono services from law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
To date the fund has invested in six innovative companies in edtech, health tech, data science for fundraising, and child protection: Inquisitive, Dataro, OHO, THINKMD, Intellischool and Ngutu College. These companies are delivering various products, software and services that provide better access to education for vulnerable children, more accurate diagnosis of health issues for children who are unwell, increases in fundraising received by charities and safer organisations for children.
The success of Save the Children’s impact investment fund in Australia has inspired the global organisation to establish Save the Children Global Ventures, to help take these types of innovative finance mechanisms to scale.
Led by former Australia CEO, Paul Ronalds, Global Ventures aims to complement Save the Children’s traditional grant-making and philanthropy with an increased use of financing capabilities and instruments, including impact funds, loans, guarantees and blended finance.
“Global Ventures leverages Save the Children’s global operational platform, capabilities and relationships, but has sufficient independence to preserve a more agile, risk-taking and entrepreneurial culture,” Mr. Ronalds said.
“It’s thrilling that our impact fund has been acknowledged for innovation and that we are now taking this Australian model to the rest of the world, to help solve the most pressing problems faced by children today.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918 or firstname.lastname@example.org.