The provenance of the term “impact investing,” according to the official founding myth, was a 2007 gathering of leaders on Lake Como, high in the Italian Alps, at Bellagio, the Rockefeller Foundation’s spectacular retreat center. The group reconvened the next year, and Rockefeller’s board approved a $38 million impact investing initiative. It was not quite
A movement is afoot to liberate global-development investment data to provide not only accountability, but opportunity maps, market research and effectiveness indicators, providing new visibility into possibilities for collaboration and innovation. Though much of the current development data is public, from foreign-aid budgets, development agencies and public-sector sources, the effort provides something of a roadmap
Shifting the risk for delivering measureable social progress from government to private investors is supposed to be one of the key features of “social impact bonds,” a promising new way to finance programs tackling nitty-gritty challenges such as homelessness and prison recidivism (see “How Financial Innovation Can Save the World”). But investors have been wary
A new crop of private equity investors are seeking — and measuring — social impact in their portfolios without lowering their expectations for financial returns. Such “double bottom line” investors fueled the growth of private equity impact funds, to a total of $4 billion in assets under management, according to a new survey by PCV
Everybody is in favor of open data, it seems, except when it comes to their own. So it is in impact investing, where many investors say limited information about financial results and social and environmental impacts is keeping significant capital on the sidelines. But that doesn’t mean they’ll disclose their own results or deal terms.
I was intrigued by a line in the piece in the Financial Times by Alex Friedman, the chief investment officer at UBS and Patty Stonesifer, the former head of the Gates Foundation that urged investment managers and banks to step up their impact investing activity: “In today’s low-yield investment climate, impact investing is becoming more
Virtual City, a mobile-technology company based in Nairobi, is redesigning its agricultural supply-chain system to help small farmers raise their incomes, through $1.5 million in convertible debt financing from Acumen Fund. The deal, announced last week, is an example of how financing from impact investors can help ventures in the developing world re-focus their existing