CEO of the British Asian Trust, Richard Hawkes, on impact investing and their work in South Asia

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CEO of the British Asian Trust, Richard Hawkes, on impact investing, development impact bonds, risk-taking and more.


The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by His Majesty King Charles III and a group of British Asian business leaders, to tackle widespread poverty, inequality and injustice in South Asia.


Richard Hawkes sheds light on the work of the British Asian Trust, especially around development impact bonds across a range of thematic areas including skills and employability, and girls’ education in South Asia.


The British Asian Trust is entrepreneurial and happy to embrace sensible risk-taking in the international development space.


We learn about how they’ve innovated and how they’ve embraced impact investing to help drive forward the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The British Asian Trust focuses in five thematic cares: education, livelihoods/jobs, mental health, child protection and conservation.


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About Richard Hawkes


Richard joined the British Asian Trust as Chief Executive in 2015. He has held a range of senior roles in the UK and international not-for-profit sector for more than 25 years, including working for the United Nations and being Chair of BOND (the umbrella body for UK international NGOs) for five years.


He is a Trustee of UNICEF UK, a member of the Advisory Board of the World Humanitarian Forum and of the UK’s Charity Bank. He is Chair of international NGO Motivation and a member of the judging panel for the UK Charity Awards. He has previously been CEO of Scope and Sense International and International Programmes Director of VSO.


In addition to leading various organisations, Richard has a vast experience of social finance. As CEO of Scope he was responsible for launching the first social investment bond in the UK, a £20m bond that was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Market.


Scope was the only UK charity involved in the G8 summit on social investment, as well as being listed on the Social Stock Exchange. The British Asian Trust has launched the world’s largest education Development Impact Bond and is currently developing a number of other innovative products across South Asia.


In October 2020 Richard was awarded an OBE for his contribution to the charity sector.