Are impact investors missing a trick by overlooking local communities?
It’s 10 years since the term ‘impact investing‘ was coined to reflect investments that bring about social and environmental benefits alongside financial returns. Since then, the impact investing sector has grown to US$77 billion.
For Durreen Shahnaz, an investment banker turned social entrepreneur from Bangladesh, impact investing seeks to “connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of underserved communities”.
But how realistic is this? How effectively are impact investors reaching the poorest urban communities? Many of the world’s 2.5 billion urban dwellers still lack access to clean drinking water, electricity, drains and toilets, to transport and low-cost housing.
Photo courtesy of Paul Falardeau.