GSG Launches Korea’s National Advisory Board on Impact Investing

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) has announced the launch of a National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Finance in the Republic of Korea - a critical step in the growth of impact investment across the Asian continent.

Impact investment optimizes risk, return and impact to benefit people and the planet. It does so by setting specific social and environmental objectives alongside financial ones, and measuring their achievement. Each NAB brings together leaders from finance, government, and philanthropy to work to catalyse impact investment in their country or region.

The Korea NAB will promote the growth of social enterprise and impact investment across the country while supporting Korea’s progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The Korea NAB will focus on establishing a wholesale impact fund to fundamentally scale up the national-level efforts to fight against the polarization of society and create meaningful jobs for the young people” said Professor Chul Woo Moon, a leading expert on impact finance and social economy, who will serve as NAB chair. Members of the new NAB also include Kyung Yong Song, chair of GSEF; Jae-gu Kim, professor at Myungji University; and Hyungmi Kim, chief of research institute of iCoop, a leading consumer cooperative in
Korea.

“The launch of the Korea NAB is important to the future of impact investing in Asia,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, Founder & Chair of the GSG. “There has been growing momentum across the world to put impact at the heart business and investment decisions -- optimizing risk, return and impact to benefit people and planet. Korea is among the pioneers in the region to recognise the opportunity of impact investment as a central approach to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to solve social and environmental issues. This movement is truly an evolution in thought and a revolution in means. I am delighted that Korea has joined the revolution.”

The announcement was made in Seoul on Thursday 22 February 2018, at the start of a two-day launch event sponsored by the newly-formed Korea NAB, the GSG, the British Council, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The event included a workshop on fostering impact investing and social entrepreneurship in the Asia Pacific region on Friday 23 February 2018 for leaders from government, philanthropy, and investment from more than 12 countries across Asia seeking to learn from Korea’s example.

"We are honoured to be working in partnership with the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and the British Council to support the launch of the Republic of Korea National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Investment,” said Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

“NABs are a critical link between policymakers and investors to create an enabling policy and regulatory environment for impact investment to flourish. UNESCAP is committed to supporting the development of NABs across the Asia-Pacific region to grow the impact investment movement across borders, and shift impact investment from the margins to the mainstream.”

The launch event was also addressed by Ho Jung Yun, member of the National Assembly; Chan Woo Lee, official at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance; and Hyuck Jin Choi, secretary for the President for social economy.

Note to the Editors

About the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)The GSG is an independent global steering group catalysing impact investment and entrepreneurship to benefit people and the planet. Chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, the GSG brings together leaders from the worlds of finance, government, and philanthropy to optimize risk, return and impact. The GSG was launched in August 2015 as the successor to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8. With the addition of the Republic of Korea, the GSG now has 17-member countries plus the EU, as well as active observers from leading network organizations.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Through our Global Social Enterprise programme, we promote the development of social entrepreneurship to help address entrenched social and environmental problems and deliver positive change in our communities and societies.

About the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Made up of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, with a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, the region is home to 4.1 billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Ms. Katie Elles, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 9481 525 36 / E: elles@un.org