About Us

Pacific RISE, a program funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), was designed to pilot and facilitate a social impact market in the Pacific with the aim of delivering greater economic empowerment in the Pacific, particularly for women.  

Pacific RISE operated across 14 Pacific island countries and has a goal of attracting at least $10million of new private investment into the Pacific by July 2021.  Commencing in 2016, and extended in 2019 until July 2021, the initiative actively supported an investment portfolio that accessed a range of appropriate capital for Pacific SMEs and applied a gender lens across each investment. 

Using the knowledge and advice of its partners, Pacific RISE worked with investors and intermediaries to pilot new ways of attracting appropriate capital for investment in social enterprises.  As with any pilot, capturing and sharing the knowledge is an important process and Pacific RISE has created a learning program to share knowledge with DFAT, our partners and other governments implementing similar programs. 

Through its ability to pilot new ideas Pacific RISE has led the way in developing several new valuable tools for DFAT, investors, intermediaries, social enterprises and other governments. 

These include: 

  • The Pacific’s first social investment thesis – created in 2017 and updated in 2021 
  • The first ever Gender Based Violence Due Diligence tool (which is now being adopted by UNICEF and others, and adapted for other regions) 
  • A comprehensive list of resources for understanding gender norms within the Pacific 
  • The introduction of gender lens investing to the Pacific