Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good – G8 report

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Governments can unleash billions of dollars to tackle social problems more effectively if they take bold steps to reduce barriers to investing for both profit and social good, a task force set up by the world’s richest nations said on Monday.

In its first report, the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force calls on governments to make tax and regulatory reforms to catalyse the market in investments that generate social or environmental benefits alongside financial returns.

“This is not about increasing or reducing public expenditure, but helping government to benefit from innovation and private sector capital in order to achieve more impact with the money it has,” Ronald Cohen, the chair of the year-old task force, said in a statement.

The report highlights the potential of so-called “impact investing” to help solve some of society’s most pressing issues, such as caring for children and the elderly, community regeneration, financial inclusion, housing and prisoner reoffending.

Already, some $46 billion in impact investments are under management globally, according to estimates. While this figure is growing, it is only a tiny fraction of the $210 trillion invested in financial markets around the world.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment
impact investing, poverty alleviation