#41 Kylie Charlton: risk and returns, in impact investing

#41 Kylie Charlton: risk and returns, in impact investing

Kylie Charlton is well-known in the world of Impact Investing. She has lots of energy and lots of experience and so I took the opportunity to talk to her about risk.

Risk, is a key issue, for all investors. It drives decision making, and its central to how they forecast the future.

And I wanted to know… how impact investors perceive risk, both in terms of their analysis of potential opportunities, but also from the business side.

And What are the key factors that fledgling, purpose-led businesses should think about when they consider taking on investment funds.

Kylie is Chief Investment Officer of Australian Impact Investments. She’s also a venture partner at the Giant Leap Fund, Australia’s first venture capital fund that is 100% impact focussed.

She’s the co-founder and managing director of Unitus Capital. And she also works with Patamar Capital on their Investing in Women initiative.

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On this episode…

We went deep on some finance basics about how risk is measured, and how impact investors view it. Kylie shared her philosophy on the companies she is attracted to as an investor, and how she helps businesses to make decisions about whether they should sell equity, take on debt or perhaps stick with grant funding.

Kylie also has a deep connection with Patamar Capital, and she knows well the challenges of investing in emerging markets (in South East Asia and the Pacific). She explained how she feels these obstacles can be overcome, the huge opportunities that exist and how we can shift our thinking from offering ‘international aid’ to help drive ‘economic empowerment’.

Once again it seems that is a mindset shift that’s more important than the availability of capital.

My key takeaway this week…

Impact-focussed companies face risk like any other business, and they’re susceptible to a downturn like any other business.

But a focus on long-term sustainability and societal impacts may just be the competitive advantage that makes all the difference in a recession.

Good Future’s Good Books

Doughnut Economics

By Kate Raworth

I know a lot of people recommend that book on this podcast, but it’s just really simplified how we need to think about capital and economics, so we don’t leave people behind, and in a way that doesn’t put pressure on limited resources in our world.


Australian Impact Investments

Giant Leap Fund

Patamar Capital

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