Three Lessons on Impact Investing: Reflections from Batman and Robin
Thursday, September 11, 2014
After our panel last week at the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference in San Francisco, a colleague tweeted a photoshopped image of me and Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund, as Batman and Robin, respectively. While the order should have been reversed (me Robin, he Batman) – as Antony literally coined the term “impact investing” in 2007 while working at the Rockefeller Foundation – either way it was a thrill to force multiply each other’s message.
What was the message? Fundamentally, when targeting grossly underserved markets with private-sector approaches and investment strategies, it is important not to oversell or over-promise that lots of good and deep impact can occur without real risk or cost, and in some cases, even significant, well-targeted subsidy.