In 2023, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, the world’s social and environmental consciousness is at an all time high. Now, political, and financial decisions are made with a stronger understanding of how they align with current global concerns, such as poverty or deforestation.
The idea that we have a social responsibility to create and maintain a liveable world for future generations has given rise to the concept of ‘Impact Investing’. Originally coined in 2007, the phrase refers to an investment approach in which stakeholders aim to generate positive social and/or environmental impacts with the same priority as financial returns. The concept is multifaceted and requires investors to act with intentionality to create sustainable and measurable impacts.
Interested in learning more about the movement and how it can inform your entrepreneurial decisions? here are 4 high quality impact investment resources:
1. SFI Asian Family Impact Summit
The Asian Family Impact Summit, held for the first time this year, is an exclusive gathering of some of the greatest entrepreneurial and financial minds in Asia. The 2023 event allowed wealth owners and impact leaders to network in a dynamic and exciting way through pitches, showcases and collaborative workshops. These interactive events gave way to disruptive new ideas that challenge the current investment landscape and offer opportunities to create meaningful social change without forgoing financial gains.
Although the event was VIP only, you can learn a lot about the summit’s achievements and impact investing in Asia from the video wrap up available on the SFI website.
Forbes is one of the most trusted publications for financial news around the globe. Although the website has an extensive collection of high-quality articles available on impact investment, your first stop should be its self-published Impact 50 list. Compiled by leading Forbes journalists, the Impact 50 is a list of predominantly US based investors that have been involved in impacting investing for a year or more. The list focuses on the most highly respected individuals in the field, from Shark Tank star Mark Cuban to committed ocean conservationist Ray Dalio.
Once you’ve got a basic idea of how impact investment works the Impact 50 list is a great way to learn about specific investors and the types of initiatives they’ve participated in.
ImpactAlpha is an online business and financial publication that prides itself on providing up to date information about the impact investment space and its key players. Referred to as ‘agents of impact’, the publications’ core audience includes wealth owners, fund managers, financial advisors and innovators who are committed to ethical entrepreneurship and passionate about building a new type of investment community.
Check out ImpactAlpha’s beats, briefs, and weekly podcasts to expand your understanding of impact investment, current trends and faces to watch in 2023 and beyond.
4. The GIIN
The Global Impact Investing Network (or GIIN) is another robust resource for learning about impact investments. The well-respected organisation is committed to reducing barriers to impact investment through education, networking, and the development of critical infrastructure. The GIIN website hosts several useful tools for would-be philanthropic investors to explore, including case studies, links to important resources (like the IRIS+ tool for measuring and optimising impact) and even a searchable database of socially responsible projects you can invest in.
For a more hands on experience, GIIN also holds an annual Investor Forum, which brings together the biggest and brightest names around the world to addresses challenges and opportunities in the impact investment field. The 2023 event will take place in October in Copenhagen and focus on unpacking the industry’s most pressing priorities, including biodiversity and the blue economy.
It is becoming more universally acknowledged that humankind has a collective responsibility to leave the world a better place than we entered it. This understanding has helped to catapult impact investing onto the world stage. By researching this evolving concept, you can ensure that your own investment practices align with your social principles and achieve more ethical outcomes for all stakeholders.