As the founder of IIX & IIX Foundation, Professor Durreen Shahnaz has worked tirelessly to bring investment capital to Impact Enterprises (IEs). Early on she realized that many IEs were ill-prepared to secure capital, and the ecosystem failed to provide advisory support with links to the right investors. At the same time, impact investors struggled to find impactful IEs that can demonstrate both their financial and social results. In response, IIX Foundation, formerly Shujog, entered a competition held by the Rockefeller Foundation for Innovations in Accelerating Impact Enterprises. Winning this prestigious award in 2013, IIX launched the groundbreaking ACTS program.
In its first year of operation, the ACTS program has already supported 12 enterprises across Asia to combat social and environmental challenges. IEs have worked to increase the incomes of farmers, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reintegrate trafficked victims into their communities, and to improve the health of families. With ACTS support, these 12 IEs will access impact investment to scale their operations, thereby helping thousands of additional disadvantaged people.
Since its inception, IIX ACTS has garnered recognition and appreciation for its unique approach to technical assistance. A range of innovative, forward-thinking donors and technical assistance partners continue to support IIX in expanding this program. In 2014, USAID launched its support for the ACTS program through the Partnership to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) award. Additionally, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Charitable Foundation support IIX ACTS.