TDi in the Pacific: Q&A with our Head of Pacific Programs Anna

May 15, 2018

Anna Moegerlein works here at TDi heading up our consulting and business development in the Pacific. She recently sat down with Sam Cook at Pacific Legal Network (PLN) Australia to share about TDi’s work in the Pacific, and to shed some light on what drives everything that we do in the ‘do good make money’ space.

*The following interview was originally posted on PLN’s blog here.

 

Q: You currently work at TDi, can you please tell me more about what TDi does and why you get out of bed and go to work every day?

TDi was founded by investors and entrepreneurs to awaken the possibility of doing good and making money. We fundamentally believe that it is possible to design businesses that deliver both financial and social value, without compromising on either.

Personally, this is very motivating for me. If we are to reshape how capital flows and how our economy works, we must start by re-naming what is possible – and then get to work.

I am also really motivated by the business owners I get to work with. They are passionate about helping their communities and are prepared to take risks to change the status quo.

 

Q: Working at TDi I’m sure takes you on some interesting adventures in the Pacific. Are you able to share with us some of the projects you have been working on in the Pacific Islands region?

In 2015 TDi began working in the South Pacific in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to identify and grow social enterprises. During this time, we met with over 80 businesses and worked with several enterprises in depth to prepare them to be ready for investment, taking them through our investment readiness process.

After working intensively with two businesses, we successfully facilitated two impact investments – one into a coffee company in Vanuatu and the other into a coconut oil business in Samoa. These two businesses received investment from the Genesis Impact Fund, a $5 million impact fund, established by our sister company, Benefit Capital specifically for South Pacific business.

We are also currently working with several businesses in Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji. We expect to announce several more impact investments in 2018

 

Q: The ‘hallmark’ of impact investing is the ‘social impact’. Can you please explain to us how TDi measures ‘social impact’?

At TDi we judge businesses by the quality of the change they create in the world. Yes, they need to deliver risk-adjusted market rate returns, but unlike traditional investing, they must also deliver measurable social and/or environmental outcomes.

So, what measurement approaches do we use to assess social impact? The answer is: it depends. It depends on what investors require, what the business wants and what beneficiaries want. It also depends on the nature of the social change targeted by the business.

At TDi we work with enterprises to first deeply understanding their mission. Then we help them map their Logic Model, a tool we use to show the ‘how’ and ‘why’ they create change in the world. Only then can we identify what we should measure and how that information could be collected. Often we recommend a mix of qualitative information, such as stories and case studies, and quantitative information, which helps to provide a holistic picture of the change created, and where improvements can be made.

Another way of measuring ‘social impact’ is Social Return on Investment (SROI), however we do not typically recommend SROI. SROI calculates the long term expected benefits of a particular intervention to society, expressed as a ‘return on investment’. For example, an education program might deliver $6 in societal benefits for every $1 invested in the program. SROI can be helpful for making internal comparisons between programs, but because SROIs are based on a complex set of assumptions, it is usually difficult to compare across organisations. In our experience, SROI’s also require quite a lot of work relative to the learning outcomes generated.

 

Q: After an organisation has undertaken its ‘social impact’ assessment, are there on-going monitoring and reporting requirements?

Yes. For example, Tanna Coffee, who went through our Investment Readiness process and received investment from the Genesis Impact Fund, has completed a survey with over 300 farmers and conducted ten in depth case study interviews. They will repeat the survey and the interviews each year to understand if the investment is leading to increased income and wellbeing for farmers. Outcomes are typically reported on to the Genesis Impact Fund every 12 months.

 

Q: Do you have any tips you are able to offer Pacific businesses about how to get ‘impact investment ready’?

At TDi we look for four key areas to assess if a business is investable:

  • Mission – Does the organisations have a central social or environmental mission at its core? It must be able to answer: how is this enterprise working to make the world a better place?
  • Model – The business model needs to be more than simply sustainable; it needs to be commercially viable in order to repay the investment capital it takes on.
  • Management – At the core of any Investable Social Enterprise there needs to be a sound management team who have the skill set and capacity to deliver both the business model and the social or environmental impact they have committed to.
  • Measurement – The ability to measure whether they are achieving their social and/or environmental outcomes.

 

Q: It would be remiss of me to not ask you this as part of our Pacific Personalities interview segment – what is your favourite restaurant in the Pacific?

It doesn’t get much better than lobster at Little Paradise Restaurant in Port Orly, Santo.

 

Spread the love

9 Mindsets of my Favourite Difference Makers

TDi Senior Consultant Isaac Jeffries shares the philosophies and habits that are the hallmarks of his favourite difference-makers.

This is a concrete list of practices and mindsets for working in community, and maintaining connection to people without burning out or burning others.

Bilum: The Power of Story to Drive Inclusive Economic Growth

by Annie Smits, TDi CEO   In May this year we attended the first official public screening of The Bilum Story, hosted by the AUS-PNG Network at The Lowy Institute in Sydney. Before the screening, I introduced the film to a crowded room, by bringing to the fore a...

Why We Need More Coaches and Fewer ‘Experts’ in International Development

By Kate Wilson, TDi Associate   An intuitive mindset coach and mentor, Kate's insight and expertise is so valuable to our team – we hope it will be for you too. This post was originally published on Kate's website, Resources Reimagined and explores the vital role...

Reconciliation Week 2022: Wrestling with our role in the Indigenous Business Sector

Anna Moegerlein, Deputy CEO, TDi In light of National Reconciliation Week, TDi’s Deputy CEO Anna shares some of the unfolding story around our work in the Indigenous Business sector: What are the challenges we are wrestling with as an organisation, what are our...

Introducing: Accelerate with IBA 2022 Cohort

Our 'Accelerate with IBA' Showcase on April 7 was a great success. It's been an incredible six-month journey as we partnered with Indigenous Business Australia once again to equip a new cohort of business owners to grow, learn new skills, and explore their social...

Meeting Uncertainty and Crisis with Curiosity

Anthea Smits, TDi CEO   I’m going to be honest; I had a rough start to 2022.   We endured a bout of coronavirus in January, followed by a series of personal crises. Each of these would have been manageable on their own, but one after the other, at a time when...

5 Minutes with Difference Maker Tammy: Ethical Innovation in First Nations Fashion

The challenges of ethical production in the fashion industry are many, but they lead to innovation and creative problem solving. We sat down with Difference Maker Tammy Saville and discussed the joys and challenges of starting her own children’s label, and how the IBA Accelerator is providing practical assistance in helping her meet her social impact goals. 

Mindset in Entrepreneurship

Anna Moegerlein, Deputy CEO TDi I’ve been at TDi for almost six years, and in that time I’ve worked with about 120 entrepreneurs. The one thing I’ve seen, over and over, is that we all get tripped up by our own mindsets. Our mindset has a big impact on our success in...

Meet Difference Maker, Ruth

Ruth has worked closely with us on several projects including the Laikim Sister program, as well as our ongoing work with bilum.

Holiday Recommendations – 21/22

Looking for some reading, listening or watching recommendations for the holiday season?Throughout the year, in our Newsletter, we have shared various recommendations for reading, listening and watching. We share some of these below that you might like to enjoy over...