Impact Investing: What is it and what can it do?

impact-engine1“Impact Engine is an investment fund that empowers entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors to make a positive impact on society. Through financial and human capital, we help for-profit businesses address the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges” – Impact Engine website

impactinvesting_articleThe social entrepreneurship landscape continues to evolve, and it now includes the growing impact investing movement. These words, however, are oftentimes tossed around without a concrete understanding of what the terms mean. In Impact Engine’s blog post, ‘The Spectrum of Impact Investing’, they define what they believe impact investing really is, stating that “Impact investing is an investment approach intentionally seeking to create both financial return and social impact that is actively measured.” Note the emphasis on “intentionally” and “actively measured.” They go on to point out differences between an investment mindset and a philanthropy mindset, studying the appeal of impact investing and the spectrum of capital it covers.

Irish Impact believes in the power of impact investing, but we also want to clarify what it means, as well as expose the many opportunities and challenges associated with the field. We decided to make it the focus of our 2015 Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference. Stay tuned for more information about our conference agenda, which will include speakers discussing financial-first and impact-first investments, including folks associated with Impact Engine!

In addition, we wanted to bring a keynote speaker in to kick the conference off, who would be able to speak with authority on the effect business and capital can have when striving to achieve a positive social impact. We will be announcing our keynote shortly, but suffice to say she has over 20 years of experience in developing small business, workforce and community development programs. And, she currently leads her company’s Social Impact Fund and deal teams with a focus on social impact bonds and economic development financing.

Keep following Irish Impact’s posts for the reveal of our 2015 Keynote speaker!  In the meantime, you can read Impact Engine’s full article here.

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