“Imagine if we could all work together, united in our passion to protect people and planet.“
What was your first job?
My first job was at my father’s architectural firm, printing plans, photocopying specs and running errands. It was always hot and hasty work, trying to meet the deadlines of an invisible tender process.
Any time I smell ammonia, I have flashbacks of my sister and I working in tandem – pulling all-nighters, each of us hunched over the rhythmic hum of the diazo blueprint machine and the photocopier. It gave me a real sense of perspective – that these plans in the right hands, could be assembled in such a way that could create an entire building.
When did you first discover the concept of Impact Investing?
Service has always been a big part of my life, and I found a great passion for “purpose”, particularly in volunteering roles, public service and later non-profits. My husband Paul Bishop is a huge social business advocate and introduced me to social enterprise some 15 years ago. That was the first time it dawned on me that you could make a difference, and a dollar.
It was then during my tenure as CEO for Queensland’s social enterprise peak body just four years ago that I started to really understand the power of impact investment.
I witnessed first-hand the real change that happened when investment was directed toward good businesses creating impact and solving problems in communities across the nation.
What is your vision or what do you wish for?
Imagine if we could intentionally leverage the wealth and influence of the globe’s 1% to mobilise and systemically transform our most persistent and entrenched problems… imagine if we could all work together, united in our passion to protect people and planet. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that solution?’
What’s one exciting initiate or development you and your team have in the pipeline?
The Impact Club has an amazingly connected network of 100 or so high-net-worth individuals, family offices and foundations, all focusing their attention on impact investing. As influential as this group is, we know that impact investing still represents a relatively small percentage of the capital being deployed in Australia.
Currently we have a limited understanding of what are the real strengths, barriers and gaps in the social finance movement. The Impact Club will be embarking on a journey to co-design an impact report to help us understand the data behind the impact investing community.
This report, co-created by impact investors and for impact investors, will help us guide the future and growth of social finance and impact investing in Australia. Watch this space!
Is there anything that annoys you?
People whose first question is “what’s in it for me?”/ “what can I get?”. Conversely, I have so much time for people who see the bigger picture and ask “what can we achieve together?”
Name one high impact company that investors should keep their eye on?
Given my position, I can’t name an individual impact company.
But, women-led ventures have historically been undervalued and overlooked.
Women entrepreneurs are not only achieving business success but also bringing unique perspectives and values to the table. This diversity in leadership is not only important from a social and ethical standpoint but is also a smart investment strategy.
Research consistently shows that companies with women in leadership positions tend to be more innovative, profitable, and sustainable. These ventures often prioritise a broader range of social and environmental issues, contributing to a more responsible and conscious approach to business.
As the business world continues to evolve, women-led ventures will play a crucial role in shaping the future of various industries, making them an exciting and impactful sector to watch.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to do this work?
Newcomers to impact investing should remember that impact investing is a multifaceted field, and your journey will be unique to your personal values, ethics and objectives.
Once you have the key concepts and investment strategies related to impact investing under your belt, build a theory of change to help define your objectives and goals. This will help you avoid social and green washing as you map and track your impact through your investment choices.
Connect with like-minded people who will encourage you on your journey.
And be patient. Impact delivery often takes time, and you will need to be prepared to keep evolving as you refine your strategies based on your experiences and advancing knowledge.
For more on the Impact Club see: https://impactclub.org.au/