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You can have your cake and eat it too. Impact investing allows you to combine your desire to change the world and make smart investments. Impact investing portfolios mainly exist to provide investors with a financial return while supporting companies and organizations whose primary mission is to create social and environmental change. Think clean water in developing countries, providing affordable housing for low-income families or creating clean energy options in rural communities across the world.

Social Impact Investing

Impact investing and philanthropy are often compared because they both serve to create opportunity for people in situations where little or none currently exist. The critical difference between the two, though, is that philanthropy does not expect a return on its financial investment. As I mentioned earlier, impact investing funds invest money exclusively into entities and organizations that have a mission of social and environmental change. Many of these companies are startups that are making a difference around the world.

Returns can be comparable to traditional investing with the added benefit of knowing that the investment is having a global impact.

NGOs and Impact Investing - KPMG Global

This is quite different from investing in companies that act responsibly by using recycled materials to make their products or that commit to giving a portion of their profits to charity. Only you can determine if impact investing is worth it. Similar to traditional investment options, impact investing platforms typically provide options based on investor preferences.

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Sir Ronald Cohen - Crafting the Key - Impact Investing

Opinion Social and environmental impact investment. Spending money to do good is great but defining the desired outcomes is important. John Authers September 20, Experimental feature. Listen to this article Play audio for this article Pause What was mispronounced? Optional: help us by adding the time. Reuse this content opens in new window. Promoted Content. Explore the Special Report. Around the world, over million children and youth are out of school , and nearly million children who are in school are not meeting basic literacy and numeracy goals.

Investing in education, meanwhile, has been linked to everything from poverty reduction to peace building. The opportunity for impact investors certainly exists.

Social Impact Investing

Is there opportunity within education that investors are not seeing? So believes Wangui Nyaga, an education investor in Kenya who works on behalf of an anonymous funder. To Nyaga, the complexity inherent in education can frighten away some potential investors. I think most investors want something that is simple, something where you can easily see results within a short timeframe. In contrast to the vaccination example, she argues, it is extraordinarily difficult to know whether a child has truly been educated, and whether a particular education intervention actually made a difference.

The most difficult piece is making sure kids are staying in school and they are learning.

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  5. Due to the multifaceted nature of education, few rigorous analyses of educational interventions are able to demonstrate clear or replicable impact, making them less enticing for investors, who are in most cases looking to put their money in ventures that have the potential to scale. In much of the world, education is viewed as a public good that should, at least in part, be provided by the government.

    To a degree, this is true for most social issues, from health to agriculture, but I would argue that the role of government is perceived to be particularly critical in education. This prevailing philosophy leaves comparatively fewer opportunities for private investment. The movers and shakers of a good education system are the government. In the same GIIN survey that found that only 4 percent of impact investing dollars flow into education, over 40 percent of respondents said they had investments in the sector in their portfolios.

    This suggests that though there is little overall money flowing into education, there are many small, tentative, early-stage bets. This is in part because of how education is structured, particularly when it comes to schools. This is why there are so few large networks of schools, particularly in the global south. Arguably, few education companies would even have the capability to absorb a large investment the way that, say, solar giant M-Kopa would.