Social impact investing

Through our social impact investment activity, we have committed an additional $A20 million to make impact-first, catalytic investments supporting organisations breaking down barriers to employment. Funds are primarily being used for investments, with a smaller portion directed toward supporting and growing the social impact investing sector.

The Foundation is now leveraging both philanthropic grant funding and social impact investment as part of a blended finance strategy, which enables non-profit or social enterprise organisations to use different forms of capital to meet its social mission.

Social impact investments are made with approval from the Social Impact Investing Advisory Committee, chaired by Macquarie’s Asia CEO, Verena Lim, and leverage the transaction experience of people across the organisation.

Macquarie Group Foundation staff members Susan Clear (second from right) and Laura McMillan (first from left), with Lauren Maccheroni (first from right) and Sigma Sultana (third from left), Macquarie employees who provided pro bono support on the Good Return social impact investment.

In FY2023, the Foundation invested in Good Return and White Box Enterprises (WBE) and you can read more about these investments below. In the year ahead Macquarie Group Foundation plans to make further investments around the world.  

White Box Enterprises

As well as being a grant recipient, WBE’s Payment By Outcomes (PBO) trial was one of the Foundation’s first social impact investees. Delivered in partnership between the Department of Social Services and WBE, the PBO trial is measuring the effectiveness of jobs-focused social enterprises in creating long-term employment outcomes for people living with a disability.

Within the first eight months of the trial, 81 people have enrolled. During this time, 90.1% remain engaged with their social enterprise, giving them the option to build experience and earn award wage income.1

Luke, an employee of ReBuild and a PBO Trial participant

In this video, hear from Kaleb, a young person living with autism and anxiety, who is employed as a digital marketing assistant by Yourtown, one of 15 social enterprises taking part in White Box Enterprises Payment By Outcomes (PBO) trial.

Good Return

Good Return’s impact investment fund supports women-led small and medium size enterprises (SME) in emerging economies, driving economic growth, and supporting women, families, and communities.

Good Return’s programs create real, measurable change in the lives of people in Asia-Pacific2

  • The Impact Investment Fund has enabled access to finance for 450+ SMEs, leveraging $A3.75m in loans using Good Return’s loan guarantees.
  • This has created and / or sustained 3400+ jobs in the chilli, maize, rice, and aquaculture sectors in Indonesia and Cambodia.
  • Impacts are maximised through the provision of training and technical assistance to partner financial service providers and their clients, including peer learning and training modules.
A women-led chili farming business established with help from Good Return’s Impact Investment program

Sector building

We’re joining our philanthropic peers in a new initiative that will grow impact investing in Australia by enabling partnerships to unlock their potential to help tackle social and environmental challenges. The Foundations Group for Impact Investing (FGII) will focus on driving catalytic, often concessionary, and innovative forms of impact investing to support for-purpose organisations meet their potential.

The FGII is bringing some of Australia’s largest philanthropic foundations together to share best practice around impact investing, as well as streamline the process for organisations seeking impact investment finance.

This builds on our sector engagement through membership of the Social Impact Investing Group in the UK and the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) in Asia.