The UK's comparative advantage in developing the impact investment market, together with the relatively small size of supply relative to present and future demand, provides an opportunity for the UK to lead the world in investing in public and social innovation, and in developing innovations in ways of financing for impact. The Impact Investment industry could be a great British success story.
The impact investment market is increasing its focus on defining, evidencing and measuring the impact of organisations receiving finance and of the organisations providing it.
In our last blog post we looked at how the shift to outcomes based purchasing in the public sector is changing the nature of demand for impact investment, and how investors are responding to that.
As we discussed in the first of these blogs, the UK impact investment market developed initially through a desire to see better access to capital for registered charities and other traditional social sector organisations.
Is a £1billion forecast impact investment market in the UK a welcome feast for capital-starved social entrepreneurs? Isn't £1billion really just crumbs falling from the financial system's table? And feast or famine, is impact investment offering the right diet for the social venture market?
At the Socap conference in San Francisco in early October, over fifteen hundred people gathered to talk about the "intersection of money and meaning". Socap is the biggest gathering of impact investors in the world, and participants who travel to San Francisco from every continent are described as 'pioneers' seeking to "direct the power and efficiency of market systems toward social impact".
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