12 December 2010

More than Money ~ Social Impact Investing

Exciting to read the Center for Global Development's newly released report More than Money: Impact Investing for Development by John Simon and Julia Barmeler, in which they spotlight, in Nancy Birdsall's words...
"...a new kind of investment and new class of investor that aims for social impact in addition to financial returns bring new ideas and new sources of capital to tackle problems in the developing world. [They...] define the new trend as investment specifically targeted to create development out- comes in addition to a financial return and map the main players and what we know about this nascent marketplace. They then suggest concrete steps that will help the market mature and grow, with separate and specific recommendations for practitioners, development finance institutions, and regulators."
Some key observations include...
  • Impact investing is growing dramatically as a destination for socially oriented capital;
  • Impact investing targets regions and sectors that traditional foreign direct investment does not;
  • Impact investors often expect to earn solid returns;
  • The marketplace is extremely fragmented;
  • Lack of market infrastructure is a major impediment to the development of the impact investing sector.
As More than Money goes on to survey, there are both promising emergent case-studies and compelling lead players having impact. They conclude with a half-dozen or so top action-items for practitioners, development finance institutions, and regulators interested in advancing impact investing. Tune in Mon 13 December 2010 @ 4p EST for the webcast of panel discussion about the report findings.

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