Impact Investing Australia (IIA), the nation’s peak body for impact investment, welcomes the Federal Budget’s specific impact investment initiatives as part of a broader policy agenda to address the cost of living pressures and assist the millions of Australians experiencing entrenched social disadvantage. 

This includes the announcement of an additional $4.7 million over three years (and an additional $0.8 million from 2028–29 to 2033–34) to establish, manage, and evaluate the Government’s $100 million Outcomes Fund. The Outcomes Fund will be established from 2024–25 to fund projects that support communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage. The Fund (announced in the Targeting Entrenched Community Disadvantage 2023–24 Budget measure) will focus on three areas: improving outcomes for children and families; helping those experiencing barriers to employment; and improving access to services for people facing or experiencing homelessness. Payments will be made to states, territories and service providers (non-profits and social enterprises) in return for projects achieving agreed, measurable outcomes. 

“IIA is pleased to be consulting with the Government on the implementation of the Social Impact Investing Taskforce recommendations, including the Outcomes Fund. The Fund will enable social service providers to attract additional private capital to tackle entrenched disadvantage, creating more investible opportunities and increasing the number and size of social investment opportunities. Many complex social challenges are suited to outcomes-based payment initiatives, such as out-of-home care, homelessness, health, unemployment and recidivism,” IIA CEO, David Hetherington said. 

“The Fund will also help address complex social issues that are generally the responsibility of State and Territory Governments and will provide benefits to the Commonwealth, such as reduced income support payments and improved employment outcomes.” 

Another element of the Targeting Entrenched Community Disadvantage package is the Social Enterprise Development Initiative (SEDI), which aims to support social enterprises to be more efficient and effective, and helps them to deliver social benefits to vulnerable Australians. IIA is the administrator of the SEDI Grants program, offering grants of up to $120,000 to eligible social enterprises. 

IIA applauds the boost to the social enterprise sector, with $21.9 million over five years to provide paid employment placements through social enterprise and employer partnerships for people with high barriers to work.

IIA also welcomes the Budget’s $14.1 million in funding to state governments to trial social impact investments, which aim to assist vulnerable priority groups and people at risk of homelessness. 

In addition, IIA commends the investment of $6.2 billion in housing, including additional funding for social housing and homelessness, to help address one of our greatest social challenges. It endorses the Budget provision to unlock Australia’s potential to produce more renewable energy, and maximise the economic and industrial benefits of the move to net zero.

About Impact Investing Australia: IIA is growing the market for investments that deliver measurable social and environmental benefits alongside financial returns. Our vision is that every dollar invested builds a better world.

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