28 November 2016 By Jessica Amir
Victoria's minister for small business, innovation and trade has commended an impact investment fund manager for starting a fund that will ‘strengthen Australia's tech hub' and local economy.
Philip Dalidakis said, "Congratulations to IIG [Impact Investment Group] for their tremendous efforts to raise the Giant Leap Fund — not only will this money help our startup ecosystem but it will help those that are dedicated to making our world better for everyone".
The Melbourne-based fund manager's Giant Leap fund, claimed to be Australia's first venture capital fund, and had already raised $13 million.
"This space will continue to boost our local economy and jobs in Melbourne's inner-west, and further strengthen our position as Australia's tech hub," Dalidakis said.
The fund backed entrepreneurs who used business to improve overall health and wellbeing, empower people, and encourage sustainable living.
"It has a focus on late seed and early series A-stage investment opportunities with robust business models and where profit is intrinsically linked to the company's social or environmental mission," IIG said.
One of their investments was in YourGrocer, a company that offered same-delivery from local small businesses, such as butchers, green grocers, bakers and delicatessens.
IIG's chief investment officer, Will Richardson, said: "We believe that the most successful businesses are the ones that make money by doing good, and they are the ones we are going after. The tide is turning on business that comes at the expense of society or the planet".
Research from Harvard Business School, Deutsche Bank and ACNeilsen showed that companies with sustainable practices, such as YourGrocer, outperformed their competitors, Richardson said.
"People will pay for goods and services from companies that make a difference."