Issue 18: Spring 2013Subscribe via RSS

The locust and the bee

Book by Geoff Mulgan, Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2013. Capitalism is the focus of Geoff Mulgan’s latest book. In a wide-ranging argument, Mulgan argues that capitalism, rather than being an immutable fixture in our lives, is part of a process of ongoing social evolution and progress. The real power of capitalism lies in its flexible and responsive nature, in its ability to adapt, colonise and regenerate. He argues that we can all play a key … Continue reading

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Putting the brakes on impact

Article by Alnoor Ebrahim and V Kasturi Rangan, Academy of Management Proceedings, Meeting Abstract Supplement 1-6, August 2010 Social purpose is at the heart of impact investment. A credible and robust marketplace for social impact needs accounting approaches that reflect this central social purpose. The lack of a generally-accepted impact measurement taxonomy is consistently identified as a major barrier to the growth in scale of the social impact investment market. A dominant response to this … Continue reading

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Reaching underserved markets

Report by Ingrid Burkett, April 2013, Knode Pty Ltd: Queensland. The social marketplace must be shaped around the real needs of social purpose organisations. This report provides a comprehensive and timely review of the role of specialist financial intermediaries in supporting this critical social mission. Burkett focuses on the role of intermediaries to direct capital and investment into financially underserved markets, with a particular emphasis on social enterprise. She suggests that social enterprises are not … Continue reading

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Investment readiness in the UK

Report by Dan Gregory, Katie Hill, Iona Joy, and Sarah Keen, ClearlySo/ New Philanthropy Capital: London, July 2013 It is important that social impact investment remains focused around the needs of social purpose organisations, and an effective social marketplace must actively seek their voices. This report provides some of this perspective from the UK, by exploring the issue of investment-readiness among both potential and current investees of social impact investment. Despite covering only the UK … Continue reading

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The case for a sector based approach to impact investing

Report by Matt Bannick and Paula Goldman, September 2012, Omidyar Network: USA Arguing that the current global social impact investment market has to date been driven by the emergence of individual firms, this report suggests that how focusing on building industry sectors is needed to bring the social marketplace to scale. A focus on individual investors, funds and organisations has dominated the development of social impact investment to date. Many investors appear to be ready … Continue reading

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Achieving social impact at scale

Report by the UK Cabinet Office, HM Government: London, May 2013 Internationally, philanthropy has played an important role in building social investment marketplaces. In addition to direct investment, philanthropy has supported a range of initiatives to support broader market development, including developing market institutions (like the GIIN), new specialist advisory services, and innovative exchange platforms. This report, prepared by the UK Cabinet Office, explores an additional role for philanthropy (here, specifically foundations), that of co-mingled … Continue reading

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The impact investor – a market emerges

Report by Clark, Emerson and Thornley, October 2012, Pacific Community Ventures, Impact Assets and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: USA. This article helps us understand what makes social impact investment unique and distinctive. The authors begin with the proposition that globally we have passed the initial proof of concept, and a social impact investment market is now taking shape. They record a cumulative list of 380 international funds, managing in excess of $40 billion, … Continue reading

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Winter 2013: Building a marketplace for social impact investment

Social impact investment aims to place capital and capability to create positive social and environmental outcomes, while maintaining some financial return. It is not a new idea but has in the last few years has reached unprecedented global scale and the depth and sophistication of research supporting the market has grown. This year saw the release of the Federal Government’s Impact: Australia report, which issued a call to action for all of us to tip Australia … Continue reading

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