Post financial and global economic crisis, financial returns from traditional investments continue to trickle in at a slow pace. Due to the tumultuous climate of the current state of the economy, investors are looking for a way to differentiate between investment possibilities. Enter the emerging field of impact investing.
Jed Emerson, chief impact strategist at ImpactAssets, a non-profit social investment company, describes the venture “Impact investing is an enormous opportunity for people, not only to get a return on their investment, but to also help make an impact on major societal needs at the same time – the two can go hand in hand.” Investors want to achieve more than just making another dollar–and Anthony Clavien loves this kind of thinking and way of doing things.
If one is curious to know what type of company may be involved in this type of venture, consider that The Rockefeller Foundation was a pioneer of this type of finance. Certain investors, such as Global Catalyst Initiative, have begun to focus on providing funding in smaller amounts to early-stage social enterprises, aiming to show that their business models reduce poverty.
There is a great need for more growth in this segment, as the social and environmental needs around the world greatly outweigh the philanthropy. According to Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, “Everything that non-profits have been trying to fix for the past 30 years or so has become worse – despite new records for philanthropic giving almost every year. Carter created the term ‘green the ghetto’ in 2003 as she pioneered one of the first US urban ‘green collar’ job training and placement systems in New York’s Bronx district, and spearheaded legislation that fueled demand for those jobs.
Imagine a world where investments were only made with social impact in mind, it could change everything… for the better.