A growing number of global investors are seeking to put money in impact investments that will generate both social and/or environmental value and financial returns, at a minimum returning capital to investors and in many cases offering market-rate or even market-beating financial returns. This investment interest is sparking the emergence of a new industry that operates in the largely uncharted area between philanthropy and a singular focus on profit maximization.
In October 2007, the Rockefeller Foundation launched an Impact Investing Collaborative (see Alliance, April 2008, p10). At a follow-up meeting in June this year, Rockefeller hosted a gathering of investors to gauge support for impact investing at scale. The following projects are currently under way: