According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a nonprofit organisation dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world, impact investing is becoming more necessary and more popular. The majority of impact investing money is going to housing programs at USD$25 billion followed by energy products at USD$19 billion and micro finance at USD$14 billion. These investments are taking place in the United States, Canada, western and southern Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. Impact investing has thus evolved from being a subset of socially responsible investing and environmental, social and governance investing to focusing on positive outcomes for the environment or community. It is basically the alternative to investors who reject the notion that there is a choice between investing for profit and giving money to a social cause.
Impact investing is also unique as it is attracting millennials and women who are contributing to the growth of this sector. Many millennials are already making impact investments and they are by far the most active generation in understanding the importance of social impact as well as profit whilst a lot more women are coming into impact investing and wanting to delve deep into the sector as well. For example, one of our recent investments, Innovative Microfinance Ltd. is led by a woman and caters to women in the rural areas of Ghana whilst our other investments like Paga in Nigeria and Nomanini in South Africa are spearheaded by young entrepreneurs passionate about the financial and inclusive economy of Africa. Innovative Microfinance provides financial services such as business, community, and group loans in the rural areas of Ghana to financially underserved populations, especially women. Paga is mobile money platform that uses mobile phone technology to allow people to pay for goods and services. Nomanini designed a payments software platform and terminal device that can be used to sell mobile or utility services and can also act as a collection point for micro-loans, micro-insurance and mobile money. These companies are important to impact investing because they contribute to financial and inclusive growth of underserved populations on the African continent and as a result produce both financial and social returns.
Boulden, J. (2017, June 27). Making money and doing good: Impact investing is catching on. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/27/investing/impact-investing-growth/index.html
Subramaniam, P. (2017, August 10). Responsible investing: Going beyond philanthropy. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/responsible-investing-going-beyond-philanthropy