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We have launched our new website for 2016 …
Impact investment is blossoming. What started as a fad for idealists is gradually becoming a mainstream concept often discussed by fund management hotshots and company executives. The concept itself is certainly appealing. Investors are realising that they have the possibility to help solve some of the world’s most pressing social problems and make a profit at the same time.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the old debate of whether financial markets can become a force for social good has been rekindled. For all of the buzz around it… read more >
I don’t mean the type of adulterous scooter socialism enjoyed by French President Francois Hollande – I mean an agile and nimble State that is deftly able to do more with less. Kinky like an inflection point in a trend line. Kinky as in ‘crinkled’ and ‘intertwined’ and ‘complex’ and ‘strikingly unconventional’. Kinky like talk about the rise of smart power in a multi-polar world – because this is the new practical reality, not because the laissez-faire types won the ideological debate about the size of the state. Quite the contrary, it’s dangerous to mistake coincidence for causality.
Discussing the opportunities and challenges of bringing together finance and social investment. Social investment is still a small market segment but has tremendous potential. There are more investors who are looking for projects that can deliver both social impact and financial returns, while organisations that historically relied on grants look for alternative sources of funding without losing sight of their social purpose.
The extent of debate (and often disagreement) about the definition of social impact investment is fascinating – exploring in great depth the nuances and prerequisite principles for investing in a way that seeks both positive social outcomes and financial returns. But this discourse risks being divisive and self-defeating. Does this complexity actually attract or repel new investors from engaging in this exciting market?
Engaged Investment has launched a pilot to test the creation of the world’s first investment index for the growing emerging market of social investment (‘impact investing’, as it is called globally). This is an important next step forward towards creating the infrastructure needed for the global expansion of social finance.
Tomorrow (5 Dec) in Brussels I will be presenting my views on the impact measurement discourse at a conference on “Measuring the Social Impact of Social Enterprises”. My approach will be to explore how to frame the discussion in the context of a market centric perspective as part of developing EngagedX – the world’s first financial index for impact investing. For the purposes of compiling an index, we are agnostic about specific metrics used and instead seek to determine a meta-framework approach for how to map and categorise the data of all metrics in use.
Is the social usefulness of financial instruments misunderstood in a similar way to how, in the darkness, the aspiring animal musicians in the folktale Town Musicians of Bremen are mistaken for being a witch? Financial language is confusing at the best of times, sometimes the same term means different things to various people and on […]
Call it a new kind of capitalism. You make goods to sell to a mass market but your aim isn’t profit. Enterprises are run by workers and customers and surpluses are ploughed back to achieve social goals. Capitalism? Not as we know it. Karl H Richter, co-ordinator of the task force for a European Social […]
UK at watershed moment for social impact investing with potential to be global leader
Social impact investment has the potential to evolve from being an emerging market to a very large, mature investment market attracting mainstream investors, according to a report published today. Making Good in Social Impact Investment: Opportunities in an Emerging Asset Class argues that the UK is well placed to be a global leader in the field, as social impact investment builds on our record as home to a well-developed, not-for-profit, charitable and voluntary sector and our historic strengths in financial services.
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