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Laundry facilities for hospitals and hotels in Fiji, menstruation products that are hygienic and dignified and financial products to assist those that have limited access to finance are all ideas that are being scoped as part of Pacific RISE’s second round of funded scoping missions. 

Plus, in a Pacific first, a development impact bond that could improve small cocoa farmers access to market through family-friendly roads is being designed and Tonga is the latest Pacific island country to be added to the list of countries currently being reviewed for investment opportunities.

The financial minds conducting the missions applied for Australian Government funding, via Pacific RISE, to scope business opportunities in the Pacific with the aim of identifying products, organisations or social issues that have the potential to benefit from investment.

A total of fifteen scoping projects so far have been funded exploring eight Pacific Island countries. A third call out for applications will occur during October.

OX_ONZ_VL_C_RGBFunded project: Social enterprise and investment in Solomon Islands
Intermediary: Akina Foundation and Oxfam
Countries: Solomon Island
Sectors: Community and economic development

New Zealand’s leading social entrepreneurship and enterprise development organisation the Ākina Foundation, and Oxfam are partnering on a three-phased scoping mission in Solomon Islands. The two organisations will work with local social enterprises to identify and understand opportunities and challenges faced by the Solomon Islands’ social enterprise ecosystem. The organisations will then pilot and test support programmes that both strengthen social enterprises and attract further capital investment. A third phase of their scoping mission concentrates on investor engagement, advocating gender lens investing to increase economic value and impact. The Akina Foundation and Oxfam aim to link investors with local enterprises so that each is better able to achieve their strategic and social objectives.

Good Return Brand Lock-up largeFunded project: Invest Pacific – Mobilising capital for good
Intermediary: Good Return
Countries: Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga
Sectors: Community and economic development

Social issues: Enabling economic opportunity and empowerment, particularly with women

Working in the Asia Pacific region since 2003, Good Return has developed an understanding of the opportunities and gaps in the financial sector to facilitate growth for entrepreneurs.  Good Return is developing a model that will equip entrepreneurs, Pacific banks and technical partners with the resources necessary to grow their businesses and match them with the best partners to do so. As part of their scoping mission they will identify partners already linking entrepreneurs to markets, and through them, provide access to funding, financial products, business tools and technical support.  Good Return will then leverage Australian funds to incentivise Pacific banks by underwriting risk for entrepreneurs and build the case for why investing in women entrepreneurs is a smart investment, and how increasing workplace equity can benefit organisations.

LogoFunded project: Partnering in Fiji
Intermediary: Lotus Impact
Countries: Fiji
Sectors: Agriculture, fisheries and forestry
Social issues: Vocational Education and training; ICT and science/technology

Lotus Impact will continue its successful partnering with Pacific Islands Trade & Invest and Live & Learn Environmental Education which began with Lotus’ participation in Pacific RISE Scoping Round 1 in Vanuatu. Having established a very productive working relationship with these organisations already, Lotus will draw on their local knowledge and experience to rapidly gain insight into local culture and issues.  They will have particular regard for gender issues to assist them in identifying candidate enterprises for potential incubation. Lotus will work to further refine their incubation models (previously applied in South East Asia) for a Pacific Islands, and gender-focused context.

 

SocialOutcomes-Logo-Flat-LightFunded project: Infrastructure Development Impact Bond, PNG
Intermediary: Social Outcomes
Countries: Papua New Guinea
Sectors: Agriculture, fisheries and forestry
Social issues: Construction to improve transportation and access

As part of the current scoping work from the first scoping round, Social Outcomes are undertaking for the growth strategy of the cocoa industry in PNG it has become apparent that roads are the missing element to ensure success. On their first visit Kokopo in East New Britain (ENB), Social Outcomes brainstormed and then tested an idea to address the poor condition of the main roads for the industry in ENB with a development impact bond. Partnering with Arup and the PNG Cocoa Board, Social Outcomes will scope and design a development impact bond model to construct or repair, and maintain roads that are opening-up access to market for small-scale cocoa farmers in ENB.

 

SocialOutcomes-Logo-Flat-DarkFunded project: A national sanitation enterprise in Fiji
Intermediary: Social Outcomes
Countries: Fiji
Sectors: Health
Social issues: Improving hygiene and sanitation through support of sanitation enterprises

Live & Learn has established a number of community-based sanitation enterprises in Fiji, PNG, Vanuatu & the Solomon Islands. Social Outcomes was contracted to evaluate whether the community-based sanitation enterprise model there has the potential to operate on a break-even basis and found there is the potential for a national business that captures significant social procurement opportunities, with this larger enterprise creating an enabling environment for the viability of the smaller community-based sanitation enterprises.  This scoping mission will access the opportunities for social procurement contracts with government and business sectors as well as designing the appropriate governance and organisational mechanisms to make it happen.

spark_logo squareFunded project: Improving menstrual hygiene management in the Solomon Islands and beyond
Intermediary: Spark Strategy
Countries: Solomon Islands
Sectors: Health
Social issues: Supporting improved menstruation hygienically and with dignity

Spark Strategy (Spark), an agency that specialises in business models to address social challenges is partnering with Plan International Australia (PIA) to work with a local social enterprise in the Solomon Islands seeking to resolve current issues around menstrual hygiene management. MJ Enterprises manufactures and sells quality reusable sanitary products and has until recently been operating under the auspices of WaterAid. With WaterAid withdrawing from the area, the business’ future is unclear. In this scoping exercise Spark and PIA will analyse the local industry nuances and explore models to attract impact investment and create positive social impact.

TDi-PNGFunded project: Enterprise Scoping in Samoa
Intermediary: The Difference Incubator (TDi)
Countries: Samoa
Sectors: Agriculture, fisheries and forestry

TDi’s scoping in Samoa has two stages. During stage one, their Pacific team will assess five businesses in Samoa. They will map each enterprise’s intent, business model, and understand their plans for growth and investment. Stage Two will see the TDi team spending in-depth time with three of the enterprises. In addition to this staged work, they will support one Samoan business to refine and test their business model, before progressing to investment readiness. By the conclusion of this project, they anticipate two to three enterprises will be ready to move into investment readiness.

Scoping activities will take place over the next several months throughout the Pacific and will culminate with the finding of potential investible opportunities to meet the growing interest of investors in the Pacific.

Pacific RISE has a goal of supporting $5 million of investment into the Pacific by the end of 2019.