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June 2023 : 3 Things in Impact

Updated: Aug 3, 2023


Welcome back to the monthly SFi newsletter!

It has been a busy start of the summer at SFi, with the successful hosting of our first ever Asian Family Impact Summit at the end of May (watch a reel here!), the launch of New Impact Society’s Introduction to Food & Ag course featuring experts from FAIRR and Brinc, and last but not least our very own Katy Yung and Christine Yu spoke at the Thought Leadership session on impact investing hosted by the Family Office Association Hong Kong.

Let’s dig in!

3 Things in Impact

1. AVPN - From Malaysia with Love (and Impact)

The 11th @Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)’s conference took place in Malaysia at the end of June.

The conference saw around 1300 people coming together to discuss Asian Solutions to Global Challenges, which is an appropriate framing of the discussion considering that the Asia Pacific region is expected to be one of the most affected by climate change, and a large part of the progress made by Asia in the past few years was reversed by Covid-19.

  • A full day of the conference was dedicated to #impactinvesting. This shows the growing importance of this relatively nascent practice in the region. Sessions covered investment strategies such as #blendedfinance as an investment strategy was a popular topic of discussion, focusing on themes like #NaturebasedSolutions and #Decarbonization

  • the need for patient and flexible capital was also front and center, with participants discussing innovative approaches to provide catalytic capital

  • the elephant in the room, i.e. the trade-off between generating impact and financial returns, was also addressed (spoiler alert, turns out there’s no trade-off!)

It was enriching to meet and share best practices with regional ecosystem builders such as China-based @2060 Advisory, @CSEIF, and @Impact Hub Shanghai, the Taiwan Impact Investing Association, with managers and operators such as @KUMPUL, @Crevisse Partners, and @Disrupt Technology Venture (to name a few!).

If there’s a message we brought home from this event, it is that the problems we are facing are global and can only be addressed together by sharing best practices and solutions. Technology is only one of the answers, we do have many powerful tools at our disposal already such as Nature-based Solutions and Renewables - let’s use them!

2. Hong Kong's Family Offices: A New Era of Opportunity.

The Hong Kong government has set an ambitious goal of hosting 200 family offices in Hong Kong by 2025. The government sees this sector as having a broad benefit to Hong Kong, including work for financial and related professional services, as well as potentially channeling capital to the city's IPO market, venture capital, and private philanthropy sector, among other areas.

Earlier this year the government issued a policy statement on developing family office businesses in Hong Kong. These policy measures are expected to promote the sustainable development of Hong Kong's financial and professional services, asset and wealth management industry, innovation and technology, green initiatives, arts and culture, and philanthropy. (read more about it here: RS Lawyers)

The government's efforts to create a conducive and competitive environment for global family offices to operate in Hong Kong, including the proposed reintroduction and expansion of the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, are expected to further bolster the city's reputation as a leading global family office hub. In support of these initiatives, SFi recently partnered with the @Family Office Association of Hong Kong to present on the topic of Impact Investing along with PwC. Key topics discussed included real life case studies of best in class Impact Measurement and Management practices of fund managers and impact investing trends among Asian family offices (read our post here!).

3. Plastic Fantastic

Crucial in the fight against plastic pollution, annual production of plastic has more than doubled in the past 20 years to 460 million tonnes, and it could triple by 2060 if nothing is done. At the UN sponsored Plastic Pollution Summit in Paris in June, delegates from 175 countries unanimously agreed to aim for a first draft of an international treaty on plastic pollution by November 2023, with hopes for a final deal before the end of 2024. At SFi, we continue to observe innovative solutions and venture companies addressing the plastic and circularity topic across verticals such as Waste Management (check out Plastics for Change, the largest fair-trade verified platform for recycled plastics), Innovative Materials (read Development Asia’s piece on EcoBricks, or read more about Formwork IO’s carbon-negative products), Sustainable Packaging (think Invisible Company’s dissolvable, compostable, biodegradable bags and Sustainabl. Planet’s plastic-free, home compostable/recyclable packaging solutions) and many others!

Capital is needed to speed-up the rate of innovation, be it first-cheques for some of these startups to get their disruptive technology off the ground, or growth capital for those offering more proven technologies. Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about any of these companies!

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