Giving impact investment a solid foundation of knowledge, and a boost
April 26, 2012
Impact Investment — in which investments are made with the intention of generating positive social or environmental benefits — is a new model in stakeholder-focused investing. “What drives impact investing is the increasing realization that market based solutions can play an important part in resolving outstanding social and environmental problems,” says Luther Ragin, CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). “It also corresponds with the belief that the resources, capacity and will of the public sector…to address these public issues has become limited.” That situation has created the opportunity for the “private sector and for individuals and investors to step forward to offerwell-crafted solutions that may add significant benefit” to society, he says.
Some examples include Habitat for Humanity in the US, and in India the Charter School initiative, both of which offer low-cost solutions to social issues — education and housing for the poor, for example.
Impact investing has experienced a stuttering start, but this is not surprising — an entirely new market has to be created and fostered. This is the purpose of the GIIN, says Ragin, Jr. “First, we are committed to working with leading impact investors around the world to help them improve their practice, share the results of their learning, and collaborate in order to build a field that that many will benefit from, “ he says. “And we are also working very strongly to engage with a wider range of investors.”
Audio transcript (mp3)
Low-res video (mp4)
Global Impact Investing Network