Short course

Foundations of Impact Investing


  • $2,970 per person
  • Fees are GST inclusive
  • The fees include course materials and catering
  • Places are strictly limited
  • Invoicing for group bookings available upon request
  • 10% discount for group bookings of 3 or more people


This course runs over three days:

  • Thursday 5 September 6.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Friday 6 September 9.30am - 5.30pm
  • Friday 18 October 9.30am - 5.30pm


Thursday 5 September
Boardroom, University House at the Woodward, Level 10, Melbourne Law School, Parkville Campus

Friday 6 September
Matthaei Room, University House, Professors Walk, Parkville Campus

Friday 18 October
Studio, STREAT, 66 Cromwell Street, Collingwood

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Please note: This course has been discontinued and is no longer accepting applications.

The global trend towards impact investing is undeniable. In 2018 alone, the Global Impact Investing Network reported a doubling of funds. Within this surveyed group alone, a total of US$228bn of assets were under management. Investors active in the field since 2013 reported a compounded growth rate of 13% over five years. Impact investing provides a new way of grant-making for philanthropists and governments. It provides not-for-profit organisations with a new case for support that demonstrates both financial and social returns. The Foundations of Impact Investing program will provide you with the skills to understand this emerging field. Over 2.5 days, we will provide you with the tools and resources to confidently navigate the impact investment landscape.

The Course

A unique aspect of this program are investment simulations. In the first half of the course, we provide you with the framework behind impact investing – risk, return, measurement, portfolio construction, and types of capital. Participants are then provided with a $10m virtual fund and investment options based on real case studies. In the intervening six weeks, you manage your portfolio by making decisions on impact deals, each of which are based on the range of deals available in the market. The class then returns for a final day to find out your results, unpacking your decisions and the outcomes. Through dissecting real impact investing deals and investment simulations, the course will give you an understanding of the strategies and decision-making that marry investment and impact.

The Impact

You will leave the course with a richer understanding of critical concepts such as risk and return, the role of measurement, portfolio construction, types of capital and what they’re suited to. Through demystifying the due diligence and decision-making process, the course will equip you with the skills to help deliver real, sustainable impact.

On successful completion of this program, you should be able to:

  • Communicate ideas and examples of impact investment with colleagues and the wider community
  • Have a tool kit and key resources to better navigate the impact investment landscape
  • Have the confidence to ‘sit at the table’ for investment decisions, not just granting decisions
  • Understand the role of risk and return in shaping investment decisions and how much to pay for capital
  • Have experience in the deal cycle and due diligence process in making an investment decision
  • Better understand the structuring of deals through unpacking key case studies.

Who should apply

This program is recommended for Professionals from mid-career to senior leaders, seeking to extend their understanding of and ability to engage with impact investment. The course is designed for current investors and advisors, those working in Government, Philanthropy, NFPs and Social Enterprises. For those with a corporate background the course will build an appreciation for the nuance and drivers of impact investment in contrast to your traditional investment approach.

Academic and teaching team

  • Bessi Graham
    Leading practitioner in impact investment and social enterprise

    Bessi Graham is a leading practitioner in both impact investment and social enterprise and was recognised as an entrepreneur in the 2017 Telstra Business Women's Awards as a finalist. She is internationally recognised for her work in designing the NAB Impact Investment Readiness Fund, her role as Co-founder of TDi, Benefit Capital and the Impact Investment Centre, and her tireless advocacy for the role of Investable Social Enterprises (ISEs) in bringing about solutions to societies most pressing challenges.

    Bessi holds a BA (Politics), a MA (International Relations) and has also completed Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education courses “Creating Collaborative Solutions: Innovations in Governance” and “Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage”.

This course is presented in partnership with the Faculty of Business and Economics.

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