Viewpoint: Move beyond mere trade-offs in impact investing
By Roopa Kudva
Across the world, we are seeing a proliferation of entrepreneurs with a vision to create social impact at scale. In South Africa, a network of low-cost independent schools uses a blended learning model with technology to deliver world-class education to low- and middle-income students. In India, the next half billion people who will come online via mobile phones will have access to everything from financial services to healthcare on their phones.
Investors are also recognizing the potential of impact investing. The Global Impact Investors Network’s (GIIN) most recent investor survey reports an asset base of more than $228 billion managed by 226 leading impact investors, a 4x increase since 2014.
We’ve seen a remarkable increase in the diversity of impact investors, each with different impact goals and investment strategies. But we’ve also seen an increasingly polarized debate about whether impact investing requires a trade-off between financial return and social impact.
Photo courtesy of World Trade Organization.