ImpactConnect 1:1 will take place at the Impact Investment Summit. In a new format, it offers pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between investment managers and businesses, with sophisticated, wholesale and institutional investors, during the summit. In this series we’re introducing the funds and the business leaders presenting at the event, so stay tuned.
Impact Opportunity name:
The Employment Catalyst, from The Achieve Foundation
Asset class of your fund:
Cash and Cash Equivalents (Start-up Capital)
What impact themes are you targeting with this fund?
Our opportunity seeks to address two challenges – sustainable employment for people with disability and workforce shortage in the human services sector. We will create a new enterprise led by people with disability that works to match demand and supply.
What are the key returns drivers of your strategy?
The key driver is the opportunity to link acute workforce shortage and a significant underutilised labour force.
We believe that people with disability should benefit from the multi-billion dollar services industry as leaders, managers, and frontline workers. We know from evidence that a diverse workforce is key to improved business and quality outcomes.
Reducing unemployment for people with disability is a priority for the Australian Government and this opportunity presents a solution at scale. At the 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit, the Government recognised the need to ‘better employment in National Disability Insurance Scheme plans, to ensure participants who want to work are supported to do so’ and to build new models for disability employment.
Can you share an example to illustrate this opportunity?
For the year ending December 2022, the National Disability Insurance Scheme spent $31 B (annual) in funding services to nearly 570,000 people with disability through 8,753 service providers. The 20 largest service providers collectively employ ~38,000 people.
Increased employment of people with disability, by disability service providers, is likely to be a recommendation of the Disability Royal Commission.
If these 20 service providers commit to a 15% target of their workforce being people with disability, this directly creates 5,700 job opportunities. With an annual staff turnover rate of ~25%, demand is real and ongoing.
Starting with disability services, our solution will establish a scalable pipeline of secure, open employment for people with disability in human services. Given that this solution also addresses a government priority, it has material benefit for government investment once outcomes are proven.
When did you first discover impact investing?
The Achieve Foundation is a new for purpose organisation dedicated to improving the lives of people with disability. Early on, we realised that improving outcomes for people with disability required significant investments and impact investing had the resources required to do this.
In 2022, The Achieve Foundation commissioned Social Ventures Australia to identify opportunities for social impact investing to be used to improve outcomes for people with disability in Australia.
What’s the most interesting development you’re seeing in the impact space at the start of 2023?
We just released a report on The Business Case for Disability which was prepared for us by Deloitte. The report highlights that by eliminating the social inclusion gap for people with disability, Australia could unlock close to $84.2 billion per annum in collective economic and social benefits.
The convergence of interests among leaders with disability, the government and impact investors presents a unique opportunity for impact. We are looking to partner with first movers in the impact investing sector to leverage market forces in delivering best outcomes for people with disability