We’re Almost Ready for the Irish Impact Conference! Are you?

Whatsyouririshimpact_FB403The Irish Impact SE Conference 2015 is almost here! Register now for this exceptional opportunity to learn more about impact investing from institutional investors, private equity and social enterprise funders, social entrepreneurs and many other amazing practitioners.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the University of Notre Dame for our fourth annual Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference on October 29 and 30. Throughout the short history of this event, we have been fortunate to cultivate a unique learning experience for our students and to facilitate a valuable networking opportunity for our visiting practitioners and experts. As the reputation of the University grows within the field of social entrepreneurship, we are excited to once again bring world class content and talent to our students and community members.

(Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

(Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

In addition, we are blessed by the tremendous generosity of The Robert L. (ND ’65) and Frances J. Zielsdorf Family and the Haley Family.  We thank them not only for their financial support, but for their steadfast belief in Father Sorin’s vision that Notre Dame would become “one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country”. The Haley Family Prize for Social Entrepreneurship will once again be awarded to a prominent visiting practitioner while the Zielsdorf Family Pitch Competition and grand prize will conclude our agenda on Friday afternoon.

As the field of social entrepreneurship has gained steam in classrooms and incubators around the globe, we felt it was important to focus on the one area which remains underdeveloped – financial support. Yes, it is true that a great deal of progress has been made over the past decade as infrastructure systems have been established, financial instruments developed, funds committed and resources enhanced.  However, it was only recently that that financial access for social enterprise has gone mainstream. The philosophical line between financial returns and philanthropic impact has been blurred and increasingly a rising population of investors are requiring both financial and social impact for their investments. The advent of impact investing has reached the global investment banks, traditional asset managers and the most storied of traditional foundations. The conference has assembled a terrific agenda to help define what impact investing is, where it has been and, most importantly for our practitioners and students alike, where the field is going.

Attendee Geography 2014

During the first three years of the Irish Impact Conference, we felt it was prudent to use this stage to broaden the knowledge base on campus and to build a more robust infrastructure for social enterprise. Our Irish Impact social media platform has taken roots and now serves as the central repository for social entrepreneurship content at Notre Dame. Whether it is our Facebook and Twitter sites pulling in news from around the globe or our blog site, pushing home-grown stories to the world, Irish Impact serves as your source for all industry news. We are equally enthused to have collaborated with several campus partners in years past and look forward to the involvement of our own Initiative for Global Development this year in our program. We encourage all of you to take part in the conversation year-round through the various channels of communication Irish Impact offers.

SocialEntConf2012-1674Lastly, we would like to thank the many contributors to this event, including our colleagues at the Mendoza College of Business and the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship for their tireless efforts, the presenters and contributors for their shared acumen and to our students and other attendees, for your interest and future contributions to society. When we sought to launch this Conference four years ago, our goal was to create the pre-eminent student-centric social entrepreneurship conference and we hope to deliver on that promise again this year.

Irish Impact WordleSo tell us, What’s Your Irish Impact?

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