Wharton: Great Expectations for Financial Returns, but Questions About Mission Preservation

Impact is in the eye of the beholder, or at least in the eye of the fund manager. A new study on the financial performance of private equity impact investments provides fresh data that suggests at least some segments are indeed delivering “market-rate” returns. Moreover, the report, “Great Expectations: Mission Preservation and Financial Performance in Impact Investments,” from the

A Soil Fund to Sequester Carbon, and Other Items from SOCAP

We’re digging out after four busy days at last week’s SOCAP, the Social Capital Markets conference and found a few more highlight: Manufactured fertilizers, animal feedlots and industrial agriculture drive carbon. Industrial agriculture degrades the oceans through excessive runoff of topsoil from fields and the associated chemical pollution from petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides. Carbon-sequestration warriors like Estancia

Clean Clothes: Driving Impact With Sustainable Supply Chains

Apparel is a trillion-dollar industry with complex global linkages for supplies, production and distribution, employing tens of millions worldwide. It’s also a source of chemical pollution of water and land, human rights abuses and untraceable supplies. Case in point, the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013. Consumers are waking up. Consumers know that the products they consume or wear do

Impact Inventing is a Thing, and Other Highlights from SOCAP

The Blue Angels “disrupted” the SOCAP, the Social Capital Markets conference, but not enough to chill the animated conversations and discussions. A few highlights from Thursday: “Impact Inventing” is a thing. The term is what the Lemelson Foundation uses to describe using invention to solve the world’s toughest problems. But invention-based enterprises face unique challenges including lack

Heard on the Waterfront: Some Takeaways from a Day at SOCAP

ImpactAlpha reporters are fanning out across SOCAP, the Social Capital Markets conference, to catch conversations on sustainability in the supply chain for apparel, healthy food financing, fintech, conservation finance, and yes, the state of impact investing. Here’s some of what they  have picked up: Mainstream investors are beginning to see impact investing as a diversification strategy.

Social Data Commons (SODA): Connected Data for Social Enterprises

A new data exchange for the emerging social capital market is connecting isolated pockets of information about social enterprises and impact investments. SODA, the SOcial DAta Commons, is either a geeky piece of infrastructure, or a step toward the kind of market liquidity that can unlock private capital for companies that aim to generate positive social and environmental

IRS Gives Green Light to Foundation Investments for Impact

The Obama administration has removed an obstacle that had blocked some private foundations seeking to use their full range of capital to pursue their missions. The new guidance from the Internal Revenue Service could help unlock for so-called “mission-related investments” some of the $650 billion in assets warehoused in the endowments of U.S.-based private foundations. “This guidance is not about