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“Localization” of impact investing is driving global uptake

ImpactAlpha, May 10 – In Japan, impact investors are popularizing the approach in the context of disaster relief. In the U.S., leaders draw on a tradition of community development finance. In Europe and Canada, the solidarity economy gives it traction.

“Communications around impact investing requires careful understanding of local context to be effective,” say David Wood and Katie Grace Deane, authors of “National Advisory Boards and Impact Investing,” a new report from Harvard’s Initiative for Responsible Investment on national-level action to grow impact investing.

  • 17 National Advisory Boards… (of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing) are now educating countries and regions about impact investing, promoting the field and developing policy recommendations.
  • Policy recommendations… The Australia NAB wants more support for social entrepreneurs. In Germany, the NAB wants legal protections for companies that pursue social goals in addition to economic ones. Italy’s NAB wants to lower taxes for impact investments. The U.K.’s wants government support to create a “social impact and scaling fund.”
  • Policy successes… Japan is creating a social investment wholesalerfunded by unused bank assets. The U.S. reformed regulations to open up more philanthropic and pension assets for impact. France pushed a policy to require big pension plans to back social enterprises.
  • Background… The Global Steering Group grew out of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, a group formed during the U.K. government’s 2013 G8 presidency. Original NABs included the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Australia. Newer NABs include Portugal, Finland, European Union, Argentina/Uruguay, Brazil, India, Israel and Mexico.

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