Impact Investing – A New Player in Protecting Human Rights?

Friday, July 29, 2016

In 2007, the Rockefeller Foundation devised the term “impact investing”, officially inaugurating a new era in finance and development.

This form of investing channel funds privately to vulnerable segments of the population in need, and it complements welfare and social protection programs by the public sector, as well as other innovations in financing development, such as community banking, microfinance, and mobile banking.

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) estimates the impact investing market at USD $77.4 billion and defines impact investing as:

“investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.”

The intent to generate positive social or environmental impacts through investments is what differentiates this approach from ethical or responsible investment, and this type of investment now has the support of several political and religious leaders. For example, in 2014 the Social Investment Taskforce—established by the UK Presidency of the G8—published Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets.

Source: Institute for Human Rights and Business (link opens in a new window)

impact investing