Bill's Media Releases

New ideas to promote local investment and jobs

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today launched a report outlining new ways to support employers and stimulate local economies through place-based impact investments – investments that combine social impact with financial return.

 Minister Shorten said this is about generating jobs, economic activity and financial returns in communities that need it.

 “Australians want their local communities to be strong and vibrant and to offer good job opportunities now and into the future. Encouraging small and medium sized employers in local communities is an essential part of this mix.

" Unfortunately it can be hard for some employers in regions facing economic change or decline to find the right sort of finance and support that helps them grow, or even stay, in their communities over the longer term.

 “Across the world we are seeing growing interest in impact investing as a way to encourage new businesses and help employers generate quality jobs. 

 “The experience of organisations such as Bridges Ventures Funds in the UK and Pacific Community Ventures in the US shows it’s possible to develop innovative investment funds that provide opportunities for people in the communities in which they live and work, while also generating a financial return to investors.”

 Author Dr Ingrid Burkett, a leading social investment and community development researcher, found there is significant potential to develop impact investment funds in Australia to complement existing employment and participation initiatives.

 “A targeted location, or ‘place-based’ approach to impact investment enhances the Gillard Government’s commitment to supporting disadvantaged communities and developing growth opportunities, Mr Shorten said.

 “It also complements the Government’s work to build the impact investment market in Australia through the establishment of the Social Enterprise Development and Investment Fund.

 “I encourage investors to explore the potential for a place-based impact investment approach in Australia.”

 Place-Based Impact Investment in Australia and its companion volume, Building Blocks for Action, were commissioned by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in collaboration with NAB, JBWere and Mission Australia.

The report is available at: http://www.deewr.gov.au/pbiia