Impact investors can gain real feedback from their portfolio companies’ customers. Do they want it?

  • “The single most important feature of Lean Data is its focus on listening to customers in order to serve them better,” writes Alnoor Ebrahim, a professor Tufts’ Fletcher School. Acumen’s Lean Data methodology is no silver bullet, he says, and “is better seen as a complement to evaluation approaches such as randomized control trials rather than a substitute.”

Measuring the impact of impact investments – by talking to customers themselves

  • Acumen's “Lean Data” impact measurement methodology lets the firm hear “directly from customers, even those in the most remote locations, in ways that creates value for them, for the companies that serve them, and for investors,” write Acumen’s Sasha Dichter and Tom Adams in the Measure Better series opener.

What’s Next: Building a trusted identity for the impact investing movement

  • Amit Bouri kicks off the What's Next series with a call to build a trusted identity for the impact investing movement. “As the industry grows beyond the early adopters, we need to establish a stronger identity for impact investing,” writes the GIIN CEO.

How business support helps emerging-market enterprises reach lower-income customers

Beyond Aid is a series from MEDA and ImpactAlpha exploring the new tools for sustainable development. Even small amounts of grant-based business support can help growing enterprises in emerging marketing reach the lower-income customers that need them most. Such enterprises face business pressures to go up-market to higher-income customers. At Mennonite Economic Development Associates, or MEDA,

Neighborly Q&A: Returning the power of public finance to civic visionaries

ImpactAlpha, June 12 – Municipal bonds are literally private investments in public goods, making them perhaps the original impact investments. About $435 billion in U.S. municipal bonds were issued last year to investors to finance projects with impact, including parks and schools, roads and bridges, clean energy installations and municipal broadband. But the muni-market has become

Apply a racial lens, and other lessons from Living Cities’ impact investments

  • Investing in economic security... Living Cities has deployed $57 million into 33 transactions from two structured debt funds to drive outcomes for low-income people in America.
  • In a new series with ImpactAlpha... Living Cities will explore how foundations and financial institutions can deploy capital to better create jobs, income and wealth in America’s cities.
  • First up... the biggest lessons from Living Cities’ 10 years of impact investing.

Daryn Dodson: Tackling investors’ racial and gender biases to unlock hidden value

  • New Revivalist: Daryn Dodson, managing director of Illumen Capital
  • Place: Washington DC
  • Mission: Daryn Dodson and Illumen Capital are on a mission to reduce implicit investor biases by training fund managers to overcome implicit biases and find hidden value.