GSG-NAB Japan Held the 22nd Biannual Assembly

The National Advisory Board (NAB) of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), which is a global network that promotes impact investment globally, held the 22nd biannual assembly on June 27th (Tue).

Date/Time: June 27th, 2023 (Tue) 15:00~17:00
Location: The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, online (ZOOM) hybrid


Discussion 1 Reappointment of Committee Members・Appointment of New Committee Members, Chair, and Vice Chair
After discussion, appointment, and reappointment of the below committee members, chair, and vice chair have been approved. The term of these positions is three years.

(1) Reappointment of current committee members
All current committee members have been reappointed

(2) Appointment of a new committee member
Unifa lnc, Chief Financial Officer; Impact Startup Association, Representative Director, NaotoHoshi HoshiNaoto

(3) Appointment of a new chair and a vice chair of the committee
Chair: Shibusawa and Company, Inc, Chief Executive Officer, Ken Shibusawa
Vice chair: Approved Specified Nonprofit Corporation (NPO) Japan Fundraising Association, Representative Director, Masataka Uo


Report 1 Accounting report of the fiscal year 2022
The secretariat of NAB, which is Social Innovation and Investment Foundation (SIIF), gave an accounting report for the fiscal year 20220.

Report 2 Report from committee members, taskforce member, supporting member, secretariat
  • Zebras and Company Inc, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Yuji Suyama
    • In “Big-boned Policy” or “Grand Design and Action Plan for a New Form of Capitalism” that was decided by the Cabinet Office on June 16th, it is stipulated to promote impact investment in regions and companies that resolve regional issues (referred to as zebra companies). The movement to spread impact investment to SMEs and regional companies is not new; the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency is regularly hosting “study sessions” about impact evaluation and impact investment in regions. Based on the “Basic Principles Related to Impact Investment” formulated by the Financial Services Agency, official study sessions will be held with the purpose of formulating a policy on impact investment and evaluation for SMEs that would solve regional issues.
  • Resona Asset Management co. ltd, Responsible Investment Department Head / Japan Impact-driven Financing Initiative, Minoru Matsubara
    • Japan Impact-driven Financing Initiative was started in November of 2021 with 21 companies. In January of 2023, we published the progress report 2022. At the time of publication, the number of signatories was 38; now, it has grown to 53. Since the number of signatories increased, we are adjusting our governance and formulating rules and a mid-term plan.
  • Life is Tech, Inc., Chief Executive Officer / Impact Startup Association, Representative Director, Yoshiaki Ishikawa
    • When Impact Startup Association was founded, there were only 10 companies registered as official members. However, the number of official members has grown to almost 50. There are a lot of companies that desire to join the association, so we are screening them thoroughly. In terms of our activities, we held our first annual meeting at the end of May where almost 150 participants joined. In addition, we feel that the government’s attention to impact start-ups is growing as impact start-up is mentioned in the “Grand Design and Action Plan for a New Form of Capitalism” that is published by the Cabinet Office.
  • General Incorporated Foundation, Social Impact Management Initiative (SIMI), Representative Director, Katsuji Imata
    • Impact analyst training, which has been offered to financial institutions (including venture capital firms), marks 2-year anniversary and has finished the introductory course of the second year. 20 people participated last year, and 28 people are participating this year. The advanced course will be co-held with Impact Frontiers from the U.S. this autumn.
  • General Incorporated Foundation, Social Innovation and Investment Foundation(SIIF), Impact Economy Lab Director, Fumi Sugeno
    • There was an update on the impact IPO. To explain the context, investors face an issue that the relationship between the pursuit of impact and the improvement of the enterprise value is not sufficiently understood in the listed market. In addition, companies also face an issue that the know-how of communicating the pursuit of impact and business growth after getting listed is not established yet. By forming a working group about the impact IPO, we aim at creating guidance to solve each practical issue.
    • We invited committee members and opened applications from companies to join the working group. The organizer of this working group would be GSG-NAB Japan, and the secretariat would be SIIF Impact Economy Lab. The working group starts in July 2023 and ends in November and expects to have meetings on a monthly basis.
    • Tomoya Shiraishi from GSG-NAB will be chairing the working group along with Chunmei Huang, who will be the vice chair. Kotaro Sueyoshi will be joining the working group as a member. In addition, listed and non-listed investors, securities firm, and audit firms that have interests in impact will be joining the group.
    • GSG-NAB opened applications for companies to join the working group and received submissions from 18 companies. Our selection criteria include: (1) embodiment of the definition of impact company (2) endorsement of the working group (3) balance of industries and information regarding the execution of IMM. Shiraishi is responsible for making a final decision.

The annual Leadership Meeting of GSG was held in Istanbul at the end of May. Masataka Uo, Tomoya Shiraishi, and Kotaro Sueyoshi participated from GSG-NAB Japan. More than 150 delegates, who were representatives in their respective ecosystems, from 47 countries convened.

  • Learnings and impressions of Masataka Uo:
    • Participants had heated discussions about whether impact investment will grow and will account for 10% of the market by 2030.
    • There were participants from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China as NAB was founded in each country very recently.
  • Learnings and impressions of Kotaro Sueyoshi:
    • Felt that three key drives to expand impact investment and have it exceed 10% of the overall market include: changes in values, technology, and transparency.
    • Paid special attention to the discussions regarding: response to climate change (Just Transition), data and assurance, and valuation.
    • There were a variety of initiatives toward NAB 2.0. For example, there are 7 NABs in Asia; Indonesia and China have been preparing to establish NAB. Discussion and collaboration within Asia are expected to be more active.
    • Found that NABs abroad are more actively engaged in advocacy and relationship-building with governmental agencies. Felt that NAB Japan should also fortify these initiatives.
  • Learnings and Impressions of Tomoya Shiraishi:
    • Felt that it was grateful to have a place where representatives from each country share their opinions. Discussions were primarily on the themes that were closely connected to impact IPO (e.g. disclosure, assurance, valuation, etc)
    • Impressed that the GSG has grown into such a huge community.

Approval of strategy paper

  • Past 10 years:
    • NAB was started at a time when there wasn’t even a law about a dormant deposit. The past 10 years were dedicated to fulfilling the main goal of raising awareness of impact investment. In addition, NAB has engaged in multiple activities, such as the creation of guidelines, calculation of market size, and lobbying for governmental agencies.
  • NAB from April 2025:
    • NAB’s values that have been shared in previous discussions include:
      • ・Diversity, Inclusivity (Involve diverse stakeholders, not necessarily just funders)
        ・Neutrality, Legitimacy
        ・Global (We contribute globally)
    • Future direction is:
      • ・Impact economy that transcends impact investment (tide of impact investment and tide of company’s attention to sustainability have started to intersect, and NAB could position itself in the intersection).
        ・Integration of impact into the sustainability management of companies (including start-ups).
        ・Creation of innovation and impact investment from the practice of IMM.
        ・In the past 10 years, the main objective was to raise awareness of impact investment. In the next 10 years, the objective will shift to implementing an impact economy.
    • Previously, NAB was the only place to discuss impact investment. Now, various initiatives have sprung up, including Impact Startup Association and governmental agencies. There have been voices that NAB could be a hub of a variety of activities related to impact investment.
    • The future direction would be to turn NAB into a collaborative hub of different initiatives that promote impact economy.
    • The biggest agenda topics are to consider the organizational structure and formulate a financial strategy.

The strategy paper has been approved. We will take the discussion to the next level while adding today’s discussion to future working papers.

The next assembly is planned to be held in December 2023.

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