Venture Capital: Nicola and Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation Launches $100M Strategic Impact Fund

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The Strategic Impact Fund is entirely women-led.

The $100 million Strategic Impact Fund by Minderoo Foundation, owned by Nicola and Andrew Forrest, will invest in ‘impact’ projects that address issues such as gender inequality, ending modern slavery, and freeing the oceans of plastic and making them more sustainable. The fund’s investing aims to have a positive impact on society while generating, at the same time, financial returns.

The Fund is led by Felicity Gooding, deputy CEO of the Minderoo Foundation, chair of investment committee at the Fund; Minderoo’s head of Impact Investing Jenna Palumbo; and co-chair of Minderoo Foundation Nicola Forrest. (AFR)

Before joining Minderoo six months ago, Palumbo worked for over 10 years in investment banking and corporate finance in roles including with Social Finance UK, Perth-based Azure Capital and KPMG Corporate Finance.

“To hear that only two per cent of venture capital flows to women founders is immensely frustrating,” says Palumbo, adding that venture capital has been male dominated for too long.

Investments by the Nicola Forrest-led Strategic Impact Fund

· Circulate Capital, a Singapore-based fund that promotes the “circular economy” and plastics recycling to eliminate plastic waste

· Ulula, a Canadian-based “worker voice” platform to encourage anonymous whistleblowing in supply chains to unearth modern slavery

· Ocean14 Capital, which aims to eliminate plastic waste and promote ocean conservation and sustainable aquaculture

· Fair Supply Analytics, which has created software to help businesses detect modern slavery risks in their supply chains

· working Capital Fund, a US-based investor in technologies to make supply chains more transparent and ethical

· Foyer central, a learning and accommodation centre for homeless youth.

“It’s time to unlock business as a force for good,” said Ms Forrest. “There is a groundswell of discontent, particularly among young people, at businesses failing to account for their impact on people planet.”

Related Story: TPG’s Impact Investing Arm Pays $200M For Stake In Airtel Africa’s Mobile Money Biz

Image Credit (Andrew and Nicola Forrest): The Giving Pledge

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