OPINION: The Shift From Promotion to Pragmatism in Impact Investing
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I’m in the midst of an exciting and exhausting round on the conference circuit which has taken me across the continent and back. This week I’m in South Africa participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week festivities. Luckily, I have had plenty of reading material for the plane rides.
This fall, a number of impact finance publications have been released by groups such as the Global Development Incubator, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the G7which I think are propelling the impact investing sector forward–and moving beyond the initial overblown rhetoric about this sector as a cure-all for global social challenges. Indeed, I’ve been impressed by the caliber of discussion and debate about impact investing–both on stage and in text. We are evolving from premature promotion to informed implementation.
With an estimated global market size of less than $100 billion today–a miniscule portion of total global managed assets–impact investing has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream. But, gone are the heady headlines proclaiming the birth of a trillion dollar asset class. Instead, we are seeing substantive attempts to overcome challenges to sector growth.