1 juni 2015

Mapping Impact Investing

There are two types of Impact investors:
those with large amounts of wealth
and those with large amounts of ambition
Promote inclusive impact investing!

Five types
Since impact investing was coined as a cool marketing term for a range of existing investments with developmental, social, ecological and cultural ambitions, distinctive types have emerged or become more pronounced which I will describe in the following post. What these different types entail, who the major players are, the state of the market, their SWOTs* from the point of view inclusive impact investing thus what is/can be to you. That is assuming you are an average Joe/Joanne investor or even working in one of the 5 types, but have little time to follow all the things happening everywhere else. *Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

I label the 5 types: Classic Impact Investing, Philanthropic Impact Investing, Direct Impact Investing, Indirect Impact Investing and Crowdfunding for Impact.

WHY Impact Investing?
But let me start with a short explanation of the motivation for impact investing: as it can be non-financial, financial and / or these combined. Investing with impact has many non financial motivations: traditionally religious beliefs lead to exclusion and then evolve towards CSR, SRI, ESG and impact, for scarcity watchers it is avoiding those apocalypses, for non-believers more ideological such as global solidarity, for altruists giving back and sharing wealth, for enlightened cosmopolitans it is investing in a fair global community, a non destructive economy, ecology and biodiversity, social cohesion, cultural heritage etc.

Financially: it might just be the next BIG thing now that the mass markets are are growing more accustomed to ESG integration, measuring ESG result), transparency regulation and climate transition scenario's effects on asset management. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) grows faster than ordinary investing and the tipping point whereby it's influence gains traction will be reached soon. Impact investing is SRI 2.0 because impact is measured and reported. As it makes the effects transparent that will soon become one of the decisions in the investment process.. 
Non financial en financial motivation combined leads us to the perception that capitalism in it's different phases and varieties has failed/is failing. It will evolve towards an economic system where companies develop solutions for societal problems using capital and the genius of capitalism as a means for upscaling their solution to meet global demands. (Hanauer and Beinocker, McKinsey alumni in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas issue 31, 2013)

Type 1: Classic Impact Investing

Classic Impact Investing emerged because philanthropy and governments, the public sector realized that they would never be able to raise enough capital to finance (growing) demands and their (global) ambitions. 
Classic Impact Investing is mainly private equity debt investing and the prerogative of an exclusive group of trust funds, financials and institutional investors and pension funds. The Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation, JP Morgan Social Finance and a dozen of like minded parties founded the Global Impact Investing Network in 2009 that since has assembled a growing involved and active community around impact investing.

The GIIN defines Impact investments as ''investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. The growing impact investment market provides capital to support solutions to the world's most pressing challenges in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, affordable and accessible health care, clean technology, and financial services. theGIIN.org

The main arena: building the infrastructure
The GIIN has worked hard and fruitful on the infrastructure for impact investing building IRIS: the Impact Reporting Investment Standards, GIIRS: the ratings system for Impact Investments and Impact Base: an on line database of over 300 Investment Funds (for accredited investors). The GIIN collects, analyses and shares information on global and regional developments in Impact Investing, hosts and on line career center and recently started management training for funds, funding, impact measurement and performance.

Some of their founding members started an Impact Investment Fund in 2012 for Agriculture in Africa as a pilot and case study. And in 2014, supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the GIIN launched the Base of the Pyramid Basic Services Track to promote the financing of basic services for underserved people in developing countries (theGIIN.org/basicservices)

Annually the GIIN and JP Morgan Social Finance Survey the largest impact investors around the globe. For 2014 146 impact investors with over 60billion US$ of impact investments reported they invested 10billion US$ in 2014 and plan to invest 11,6 miljard US$ in 2015 in impact investments. One third manages their own assets, two thirds for others. 40% invests in North America, then 14% in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) and 10% in Latin America. Next year they want to invest more in SSA, East and South East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

MARKET orientation and TRENDS
The GIIN members invest mostly in affordable housing, micro finance & financial inclusion, community development, sustainable agriculture etc. In 2009 the Monitor Institute researched the potential of Impact investing and guestimated the market would grow from 50 to 500billion US$ in 2020 surpassing Philanthropic and Governmental investments combined.

Although growth has been achieved and is still increasing in triple (EuroSIF) and double (theGIIN&JP Morgan surveys) digits upscaling has been halted. Blame the financial crisis that hampered almost all economic activity everywhere and a hesitant investment market. One of the reasons investors were/are hesitant was that Classic Impact Investment resembled socially responsible investment's cliché of giving up return for impact (though that cliché has been proven false when looking at best-in-class companies investments). But Classic Impact Investment characteristic style Impact First (over return) actually did exactly that and intentionally: remember the below market returns in the GIIN definition? The other styles are Finance First (over impact), Balancing impact & return and Catalytic Impact Investment or the need to invest in nascent emerging impact (sub) sector(s) and markets and the pipeline.

Another reason the growth of the market is slower than expected is that investors like track record which a young nascent developing market can not yet present and another handicap was that the large investors theGIIN attracted expect a large choice of big deals (with adjoining high costs & big fees) which are just not available. Yet. Innovation often starts in study/garage based offices, not those with penthouses views. Therefore continuing 'the doughnut hole in sustainable finance' meaning small & middle size sociale interprises impact investees cannot get financing. (''The Bottom of the Pyramid'' Stuart Hart on nextbillion.net). This is a ''loose-loose proposition'' according to First Book's Kyle Zimmer visiting the Skoll World Forum for Social Enterprises. Because (if) ''enterprises don't gain access to scaling capital, investors have no way to learn about powerful new models to effect change, and neither is leveraging the visionary thinking of the other''.

I admire the GIIN most of all for working arduously teaming up with existing collaboratives aiming for goals that fit in the ambitious Monitor Institute matrix in theGIIN.org/Investing for Social and Environmental Impact to solving bottlenecks hampering the growth and development of Impact Investing. They recently launched a framework for linking Global Reporting Initiative (for larger companies) with the IRIS system and with B Lab (Corps) for GIIRS analyses.

Even though the GIIN started a Network next to their Investors Council & Member system, they are still quite exclusive. An opportunity might be to summarize their knowledge & information for different users and purposes (and through infographics maybe? I love infographics, check out my Pinterest/cool-infographics-on-impact-investing)

And last but not least an opportunity is promoting inclusive impact investing ie of small private investors as private equity is a minor part of the capital market (17% in the US, according to Sonen Sapital in their 2014 impact report).

What's in it for you?
Check out the GIIN website for information on metrics, market developments & trends, investment models, training, webinars, networking possibilities, news, resources etc and signs up for the free monthly newsletter. What the GIIN is looking at and working on will probably steer the future of (your) impact investing.

Type 2: Philanthropic impact investing

As Classic Impact investing, Philanthropic impact investing emerged because the philanthropy sector realized that it would never be able achieve it's ambitions either with their endowments or through fund raising capital. But also that it could use it's assets to achieve the goals.
If the money came back, especially with some return, it could be used again for more impact like a revolving fund.

The difference with traditional charitable donations is that you are not just funding 'output' activities, but innovative activities with scaling potential. Scaling to achieve impact and because they save money i.e. are either preventive and/or are cheaper that existing frameworks. Philanthropic impact investors such as charities and governments want impact more than output, they want solutions and scale over micro or local successes. But they will need private capital to finance (global) upscaling. Up front for prevention and to save on national budgets offering opportunity for problems that are not on the political agenda yet.

Another origin of Philanthropic impact investing is that funds with considerable assets became (were made) aware that they could use their assets for their cause as well. Some were already active, but the majority felt or were told by their financial advisors that fiduciary asset management requires safe investments. Also sustainable SRI investing became more and more popular with charities, especially the fundraisers whose donors like transparency and asset management based more on principles than return. It makes sense that the (Dutch) Heart Foundation does not invest in the Tobacco industry or Animal Welfare funds stay away from fur companies or factory farms.

Excluding harmful sectors and companies evolved in looking for responsible, best-in-class investments and mission related investing. This can be either safe in public equity market leaders or more risky investing private equity in ventures or growth capital. Especially corporate foundation and foundations started by entrepreneurs have an open mind about venture philanthropy.

In 2000 the UK started a journey which would evolve in a Social Investment Roadmap for the world. (BuildingaSocialImpactInvestmentMarket, pdf, 23 pag.). It took many small steps in between and another 10 years to launch the first Social Impact Bond, a private equity financial structure for complex societal challenges aiming at improving peoples lives in which private financiers invest up front and the government pays out a differentiated premium based on the results and savings for society as a whole. The gift of Social Bonds is that they connect the pipeline players in a total intervention approach. Though thus complex structures, Social Impact Bonds are now going viral around the world, gaining attention and momentum and will soon be a common -some say 'the'- tool for philanthropic and public bodies to scale up effective interventions in many parts of society.

Note that before the first Social Impact Bonds with 'result' linked payments were introduced, Allia Lmt introduced charity bonds for social housing in Brittain (but listed in Luxembourg). As Allia has now moved on to the London Stock Exchange Retail Bond Platform creating RetailCharityBond Lmt these bonds will be described under Type 3 Direct Impact investments.

The model for philanthropic impact investing:
STEP 1 Give a grant for a feasibility study & pilot;
STEP 2 Evaluate effectiveness & potential for scale;
STEP 3 Find fellow & final investors based on the societal benefits & savings of the intervention;
STEP 4 Invest in Social Impact Bond(s).

Shortly after the UK began it's journey the European Venture Philanthropy Association was founded in 2004. Today it is ''a unique network of venture philanthropy organizations and others committed to practicing and promoting high-engagement grant making and social investment in Europe''. EVPA defines Venture Philanthropy as ''an approach to build stronger societal purpose organizations by providing them with both financial and non-financial support in order to increase their societal impact. EVPA’s diverse membership includes venture philanthropy funds, grant-making foundations, private equity firms and professional service firms, philanthropy advisors and business schools. Currently the association has over 190 members from 24 countries. (LinkedIn profile). 

EVPA is actively sharing knowledge and cooperation: organizes conferences and collecting and analyzing experiences. Both best practices and failures, as they did for their 10th anniversary with the Shell Foundation and others.

When talking about Philanthropic Impact Investing, we are again talking private equity. There are about a hundred Social Impact Bonds in the global pipeline, the UK is champion with 31 of which half is in operation. Even the most complete report 'the State of Play' of SIBs by Ecorys (2014) hesitates to guestimate the involved amount and the incomplete list in the Spreadsheet of Instiglio (sibs-worldwide) shows many blanks as well. In the Netherlands we are talking 1,5 million Euro invested in 2 SIB's, but these are small compared to US SIB's with on average 20millions US$. So lets say and this is a very rough estimate the market is maybe a 1billion US$ including the pipeline SIB's. (But boy does it have potential: especially English speaking nations are jumping on the SIB train organizing the legal framework and starting in city, state and national level. Recently the OECD joined the Social Investment party embracing the work done by the G7 SocialImpactInvestmentTaskforce and publishing its analyses (OECD/social-impact-investment pdf 136 pag.).

EVPA surveys it's member in European bi-annually, the most recent data is last years and 96 members responded (EVPA AnnualSurvey 2013/2014, (pdf, 75 pag.), but is silent on the size of the market as a whole. In the 2013/14 Survey it states ''budgets for VP/SI are increasing, but many European venture philanthropy organizations still have annual budgets lower than €2.5m. In the last fiscal year, the average amount allocated was €9.6m (a 33% increase compared to last year) although the median was only €3m (?). Multiply with that 100 (members) and we have almost 300million Euro Philanthropic Impact Investing in (Western) Europe. Note that numbers probably partly overlap with the annual Global GIIN JP Morgan SF Survey mentioned above.

The UK's SIBs focus on juvenile delinquency, children at risk or in care, youths (Not in Education or Training NEETS), homeless people (rough sleepers) employment and recently the chronically ill. American SIB's also focus on recidivism, homelessness and employment and Dutch and German SIBs on unemployed youths. The SIB in Belgium focuses on integration of migrants in (self)employment through mentors. An Indian SIB or DevelopmentImpactBond focuses on education (enrollment & results) for girls and other development Bonds focus on health: Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV) More on: Instiglio SIB DIB worldmap&data

EVPA members invest in Social & Economic development (22%), Education (14%), and Research & Health care (both 13%) for children (62%), people in need (36%) and unemployed people (21%). They are investing more every year, but their focus is on investing in non-profits (i.e. innovation and upscaling of the social sector)
Half of the investments are in (Western) Europe (it is the European VPAssociation) and followed the traditional impact first >1/3, finance first <1/3 and 1/3 balancing impact & return model of classic impact investing. But in 2013 almost half were balancing and finance first went up to 34%.
Philanthropic Impact or Social Investment is gaining momentum and SIBs are building a reputation for themselves. Public agenda setting can facilitate the growth of the market. With the G7 and OECD's efforts I am hopeful things will start moving faster. It is interesting that the (international) Impact Investing Policy Collaborative just merged with the British Social-Return-on-Investment Network (SRTOI, just relaunched as SocialValueUK) which in the Netherlands seems to work mostly with municipalities.

There is no doubt that governments can facilitate progress of the market through legal and fiscal regulation and allocating budgets like the UK did. But it is not just happening in the social investment sector. EVPA also developed a checklist for (the impact of) investments in a consultation process for the EU.

What is happening here is that the social sector becomes more investible. Whether this is for innovation or upscaling because prevention is smart social investing, filanthropy is putting up the money to sclae a nascent market and soon private capital markets will step in.Moodys just launched an index for social public investments: Moodys-Strong-global-growth-in-social-investment-widens-UK-charities
Obviously philanthropic investing is the prerogative of 'philanthropy' but that does not have to mean trust funds, foundations and High Net Worth Individuals' charities are the only players. The social sector and investors have to get involved. EVPA thus published Social Impact Strategies for Banks: Venture Philanthropy and Social Investment’.

And the social sector has to develop innovative products and activities they can 'sell' to either clients directly or to the governments and investors can put up the scaling capital. In the UK where the financing system is quite advanced with Big Society Bank and Capital and intermediaries to support investability of the social sector. But it's ambassador Sir Ronald Cohen has repeatedly appealed for more courage on the side of the social sector.

Philanthropic impact investing could become more inclusive by appealing to private investors to support upscaling so invest growth capital, preferably debt, for interventions that have proven to be successful. 

What's in it for you?
You will not be able to participate in a SIB or the venture philanthropy activities of the EVPA members anytime soon. If you want to be more effective than through giving donations look for charities that are impact investors and support their work and fund raising.

Or you can loan 20US$ interest free through KIVA.org or in the Netherlands with Ideal 25euro through Wakibi, KIVA's Dutch affiliate. These are micro loans to individuals or groups for personal or professional purposes such as education, shop inventory, a personal toilet or heating and my last loan: slippers and a diving mask for a single mother in Samoa to catch dinner and get an income. If you allocate it to be a revolving fund the repayments of single mother Akanese in Samoa pays-it-forward for the expansion of the womens cooperative shop expanding their pig trade in Colombia etc etc etc.

Type 3: Direct Impact Investing 
My definition of direct impact investing that it is in public equity and investment(product)s in companies mainly active in basic needs* or impact catalysts *healthy nutrition, clean water, hygiene, health care, education & vocational training, affordable safe / green / housing, work, SME financing, community financing, clean & green tech, ICT aimed at impact etc. And let's add security in the broadest meaning: from natural and ideological threats. A plus is a focus on developing and or distributing accessible affordable products and services.

Think investment products for (financing sales of) cleaner cars or local public transport, green(er) property, climate transition projects, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, localities (even best-in-class), water and waste management etc. Did you recognize them yet? Green or Climate Bonds.


Public Equity Investment products sell a lot easier than tailor made Private Equity Investments, which is what inspired Green, Vaccine and Charity bonds. 

Green Bonds used to be the instrument of choice of (regional) Development and Reconstruction banks, but have been embraced by (best-in-class sustainable en renewable energy) companies in the last few years. The market is diversifying from huge nominal, exotic currency, low risk rating with low interest to corporate bonds in US$ and Euros with more attractive coupons, but lower risk ratings. For best-in-class corporations these products offer another way to cheap(er) capital since they are often oversubscribed and sometimes enlarged due to the interest.

First of all it is possible to invest in basic needs sectors and impact catalysts through Government Bonds that work to provide this for their people. Bonds from fully functioning democracies give better guarantees, but are hardly perfect or achieving all their goals. Bonds from supranational bodies like the World Bank, regional development banks etc. are also an option and often more focused on impact and sustainable development.
Then there is equity, stock or bonds, of companies that are exclusively working in the field of basic needs or impact catalyzing. So renewable energy, green or clean tech, micro finance and financial inclusion. You can find an impact portfolio model here: IINews: an Impact Investing portfolio

Attractive are companies with good CSR or ESG records, especially on opportunities, but Sustainability track records are not per se a positive impact certificate often they are based on less negative impact through energy and resource savings. There are lots of companies with good sustainability records that are not at all focused on (inclusive) basic needs or catalytic impact sectors. More often you will find that companies have a mixed portfolio and impact activities form a minor part (which makes me categorize them as indirect impact investments or Type 4).

So watch out for accessibility & affordability ambitions as that is the problem with most global challenges. We have solutions, but are not effective in distributing them. For instance most health care i.e. pharmaceuticals aren't always about developing better affordable health products for all or even more people. As a business model they can focus on more expensive products & thus treatments for less people leaving generic pharma to spread health globally. The Access2Medicine index makes this more transparent and has inspired a few followers for access to nutrition and access to seeds, more in IINieuws1sept14 (in Dutch)

What is an effective impact certificate is the label Climate or Green bonds and they are listed all around the world. Banks have developed (and are fine tuning) the Green Bond Principles for the underwriting and marketing of these products. (Many of )The Bonds are complying to Green Bond Standards developed by experts organized by the Climate Bond Initiative and externally verified by official verifiers often ESG research bureaus. Large Financials such as Barclays and S&P have launched indices to monitor developments in this growing market. The Oslo Stock exchange has two lists: one for externally certified and one for not certified Green Bonds.. (Oslobors: Increasing-the-visibility-of-green-investment-choices-today). Unfortunately Green Bonds come mostly with large nominal value 100.000US$ or Euro so not really accessible for private investors. 

Note that at the end of 2015 the Dutch Super Sustainable Triodos Bank launched a listed fund combining 8 of her existing funds (of which some were not yet listed) and 30% impact bonds. Triodos-multi-impact-fund
(ISIN NL 0011327432 at Euronext)

Special, but not accessible impact bonds, are Vaccine Bonds issued by the International Financing Facility Immunization IFFIM.org. The bonds can take credit for the steep drop -50% in child mortality in the last twenty years. Investors are the governments of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Norway, Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa. Only Japan's Daiwa Bank offered them to retail and institutional investors in 2013 and 2009 and has turned over more than 500million US$. (Japan also has 'uridashi', green, development & reconstruction bonds which are accessible to Japanese retail investors).

In the UK Allia Lmt introduced different types charity bonds financing the social sector, social real estate etc. Starting with listings in Luxembourg, they now have listings on the London Stock Exchange (LSE, ORB the Retail Bonds platform) and a launchplatform: Retail Charity Bond (RCB) Lmt.

How much?
In 2014 Green Bonds emissions almost reached 40billion US$, in 2015 it went up to 46bilion, expectations for this year are positive but I dont expect the 100million the Climate Bonds Initiative is going for. They have a list on their website: Climatebonds.net/data/bonds
Vaccine Bonds have raised 6.5 billion US$ inv
estments over 23 years. Social property bonds used to be their biggest success of charity bonds, but in april 2016 RCB launched a charity bond for the Charity Aid Foundation, a charity bank/financier, which raised 20million UK pound rapidly.

Market orientation and trends
SRI and Sustainable investing is hip&hot and will continue to grow attracting SRI and sustainable investees. It will inspire less attractive fund raising investees to become more Socially Responsible or sustainable to raise (cheaper) capital. For sure it is very inclusive any on line broker offers these companies and investment products such as sector etp or funds.

As said: the Green Bonds market is booming with attractive players issuing their second or third Green Bond having experienced being oversubscribed in the past. As with best-in-class sustainable companies Green bonds are preferred investments, but attract this capital not just from the traditional responsible investors community. The Climate Bond Initiative researches, analyzes and published about developments in the market, such as year-2014-green-bonds-report. I hope they will continue this with resources and publications now that their website is more exclusive and some parts for partners only.

The listed charity bonds in Britain raised 'safe' financing for property: housing for vulnerable people. Allia's Phil Caroe speaking for the initiators accept(s) ''that it is a relatively small proportion of the largest charities this bond issuing platform is going to benefit. But the introduction of retail charity bonds is part of a broader, strategic approach of building a social investment market and creating a social investing culture that will benefit all social sector organizations in need of capital.' According to Moody's there are already 18 charity bonds of which half was issued the last 2 years, thus it has just launched an index for social investment: Moodys-Strong-global-growth-in-social-investment-widens-UK-charities

Emerging markets
Emerging markets for retail impact investing are impact transparency and Social Enterprises. Transparent about their impact (ambitions) are the companies listed on the Social Stock Exchanges around the world.
Singapore’s Impact Investment Exchange (IIE) partnering with Mauritius is really a stock exchange. The others list stock with impact(reports) such as the UK, US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Kenya. Note that they may have philanthropic objectives as well. 

In the Netherlands 3 major accountancy & consultancy firms joined hands in an initiative named True Price which researches the real value of organizations and companies.
Social Enterprises that have come to scale and preferably with a certificate such as being a B Corporation ('companies creating the most impact for a better world') are going public are an exiting new investment option, such as the recent IPO of Etsy, an on line web shop for artisans and creative people. It raised 267miljoen US$, 16US$ per share. Now: Nasdaq/etsy

Emerging trend: ESG transparency 
As I am writing this my bank ABNAMRO Bank released a press statement that they will offer a sustainability indicator: a 5 point score based on the Environmental Social and/or Governance performance of companies. (That sounds familiar: IINews:the-case-for-impact-indicator-for investment products) The ABNAMRO Sustainability Indicator came a month after another Dutch Bank ING stated that they will inform their private banking clients every quarter about the sustainability of their investment portfolio.
This 'transparency'' in the retail fund market can unleash a serious shake down of funds with no or low ESG scores and preferably the introduction of new funds with higher ESG scores and impact profiles. Direct Impact Investing could just explode at the expense of the billions being recalled from funds with no or low ESG score

Note that serious efforts are being made to distinguish between 'material ESG data' per sector and nice to know data by the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings, (GISR) More at RateSustainability

Direct Impact investing in companies or investment products such as sector etp or funds is very inclusive. Any on line broker or bank offers it.
Most Green bonds are not so inclusive (yet) as the nominal value of many is 100.000 US$ or Euro. Note that the European Investment Bank sometimes offers accessible bonds with 1000 euro nominal. With (very) good risk ratings returns are low, but with more companies entering this market better returns are growing.

Some Green Bonds issuers have tried to greenwash their investment products, but the market is quite selfcleansing with all the infrastructure in place and the (stakeholder)media is critical. When a bond follows the Green Bond Principles, Climate Bond Initiative standards and is externally verified Strength and Opportunity overrule Weaknesses and Threats in my perspective.

An almost odd Weakness is the fact that coupons might plunge due to the often reported over subscription making them less attractive for (private) investors. You could still make some extra return on the exchange rate.

What's in it for you?
Investments in government and supranational bonds are rated high and there are benchmarks on their impact by Korean researcher Solability: Competitiveness_Index and RobecoSAM: Countryeconomy.com/ratings. As supranational bodies issue green end development bonds you can invest directly in attractive impact activities.

Investing in best-in-class companies in basic needs and impact sectors should get you impact and higher returns especially because they are strategically steering on the important mega trends such as growing global population and aging, resource scarcity etc.

Investing in retail Green Bonds requires some research. The Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) used to offer a list of bonds, but has just closed it's site for non-partners (which are all professionally involved). However their newsletter/blog is still available to monitor developments. That is probably the best way to find green bonds with 1000 nominal value and attractive risk&return rating and currencies. Best-in-class green corporate bonds offer low(er) coupons resembling their experience of getting cheaper access to capital (and giving better returns to their investors: so buy their equity). Other Green corporate bonds of with lower risk rating will offer more attractive returns.

ou can also invest in an Oikocredit Bond which is an impact first bond (this means low pay out bond with on average 1,5% interest: Oikocredit.coop/invest) The not-paid-out-returns are reinvested in growing micro finance, fair trade, agriculture and renewable energy. It is now the largest micro finance retail fund in the world. They are a tax deductible charity as well through the Oikocredit.coop//international-support-foundation.

Watch out for Initial Public Offerings (IPO) of Social Enterprises. Any IPO gets media attention, these especially because they of the social business model. They maybe certified as B Corporations. Their numbers are still small, for instance there are 1200 companies B Corps certified globally and most wont go public. Note that an IPO is a 50-50 chance of success or failure according to research by Dutch prof Arie Buijs on popular Stockexchange and IPO sayings. 

Type 4: Indirect Impact Investing
My definition of indirect impact investing is that it is in public equity and investment(product)s of companies strategically investing in developing and or distributing accessible affordable basic needs or impact catalysts. 
Indirect impact investing is a piece of the pie of the growing ethical sustainable, socially responsible investment universe. Globally the financial sector has reported larger growth in Socially Responsible and impact investing than the investment market on average. This accelerated after the financial en credit crises of 2008 and 2011. 
One financial reason was that sustainable and micro finance funds suffered less from the global drop, their volatility is lower. As said it has also become clear that best-in-class CSR or sustainable companies perform better (for investors) than CSR or ESG laggards or mere compliers (to legislation). Thus they have cheaper access to capital and can invest more in innovation, CSR, ESG etc.

But Indirect impact investments are also found outside this investment universe because some companies focus less on CSR and ESG, but their core activities are impact oriented in basic needs and/or impact accelerating.

For instance a fruit juice company Refresco-Gerber just went public on Euronext in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They are not the most sustainable beverage company in the Netherlands, more of a laggard though they have moved up the ESG ladder lately. Most of their product range is healthy and as it aims at offering affordable fruit juices through supermarkets. Their products add fruit vitamins and fibers to the average diet that lacks enough off those. Few people eat two pieces of fruit a day as is suggested. They sell bottled water as well (which I think is a silly business, but better than soda's) and as most people drink to little that too is a product with positive impact. They are maybe not as sexy as super organic fruit and vegetable smoothies, flavored waters and other healthy beverages -and less profitable for investors- but their impact is much larger because they sell much more products.

Basically these are the same sectors as direct impact investments with the major difference being that the corporation does other things (with less or negative impact as well). Let's name it impact-growth equity.
These companies become eligible when they seriously aim to grow their impact activities preferably accessible & affordable services & products. 

Like General Electric: in 2014 it reported 28billion US$ earnings from it sustainable savings programme ecomagination and these earnings grew twice as fast as earnings from it's other activities. It also has healthymagination aimed at innovative products and services which delivered 100 validated solutions (2 year early) improving the quality, accesibility and affordability of healthcareproducts. GE was booted from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2014.

Companies get bonus points if they aim at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the globes billion poorest people and the emerging middle classes in developing countries.

Then there are corporate impact venturing companies. A concept coined by Dr Maximillian Martin for companies, large and small, investing in impact oriented innovative ventures. Internally through R&D or externally by private equity investing, mergers and/or acquisitions. More in the pressrelease of ''Driving Innovation through Corporate Impact Venturing'' (or the review in Dutch in IINews15april13).

They can be companies that aim to decouple their all over growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. So diminishing negative impact or E(SG) risk. Especially when they market those experiences such as General Electric.

Also interesting are companies whose basic needs and impact products are becoming more accessible & affordable as part of their circular economy activities. We are not just talking cradle to cradle and recycling companies, In stead of aiming to sell more (expensive) state of the arts products they are taking back older models, refurbishing and selling them at a lower price to new consumers in new markets. According to Philips Health Care products 'the circular economy is a driver for innovation in the areas of material-, component- and product reuse, but also for new business models such as solutions and services'.

Market & Trends
There is no data on (indirect) impact investing. Nobody looks at -or publishes insights- on the investment market this way. They look at the results of companies and sectors. There is extra interest in sustainable companies, but not specifically at the companies in basic needs & impact sectors or companies aiming at access and affordability. The market follows companies aimed at growing in emerging markets and/or reaching the base or even the bottom of the pyramid.

The market looks at companies categorized as ESG risk and fewer ESG opportunities (often focusing on the Environment and use of natural resources). The market loves companies that are characterized as innovative. They can be impact catalysts if their innovation has impact potential. Their research & development, corporate impact venturing, circular economy activities all point at aiming for impact. You will find that these are often the best-in-class sustainable companies because it is part of their strategy or they are exploring broader sustainability issues. But let me stress again there are impact opportunities outside the sustainable investment universe in basic needs and impact accelerating sectors.

Emerging trend
Companies active in the sharing economy use 'information (technology) to enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services. Also ''Collaborative consumption'' where participants share access to products or services, rather than having individual ownership. Think online marketplaces and emerging sectors such as social lending, peer-to-peer task assignments, vehicle or commute sharing. A common premise is that when information or goods are shared (typically via an online marketplace), the value of those goods may increase, for the business, for individuals, and for the community. But transitions can and often hurt existing systems.

It is impossible to say anything about the size of indirect impact investment market. But financial professionals state more and more that impact investment is the future and that in ten years all investment prospects will be reviewed on their (ESG) impact. How is that for an Opportunity?

The strength of indirect impact investing is that is it focused on megatrends such as population growth, better health and aging, resource scarcity etc. In the long term everybody should win. But exploring the moon as an inhabitable satellite-planet for earth or space travel for even better relocation places are not focusing on the global challenges we are facing here and now (even if they have been around for centuries). So companies with time phased modest impact ambitions in my perspective make more interesting prospects than those too visionary. Though I am quite impressed by Philips ambition 'to improve the lives of 3 billion people in 2025 through innovation and sustainability'.

Remember: Companies suffer and fail. Impact potential says nothing about financial potential. Also companies considered indirect impact investments can fail due to internal and external reasons such as strategic and tactical errors or financial crises or (political) conflicts leading to boycotts or even violence.
What is in it for you?
You can find indirect impact investing prospects on the CSRHub which has online ESG benchmarks data on over 14,400 companies in 18 industries, in 128 countries and from almost 400 data sources (and growing).
Then there are the sustainable best-in-class companies in the relevant industry lists of RobecoSAM in their yearbook2015/industry-profiles Press releases on the (Dow Jones) Sustainability indices: who is new, out and why are very interesting. Companies themselves mention their listings under awards&recognition
For the world and separate European countries there is the Vigeo Euronext benchmark for companies, and sustainable-investment has developed markets companies and investment funds in it's online database (without rating). YourSRI publishes reports on the ESG score of hundreds of investment funds.
Two Dutch Sustainable banks are 100% transparant about their investment universe: Triodos/Companies and ASNBank/beleggingsuniversum. Triodos publishes changes regularly.

A global list of 100 circular economy companies can be found here: EllenMacArthurFoundation, a well known 'classic' impact investor supporting the circular economy believing it 'provides a coherent framework for systems level re-design and as such offers us an opportunity to harness innovation and creativity to enable a positive, restorative economy'.

For cleantech corporate impact venturing I find the cleantechgroup newsletter and publications very interesting as corporate investors are named. Companies are also mentioned in publications on impact investing. I have a lot of financials that are indirect impact investors or impact investing researchers and promoters in my portfolio. To me their mere awareness of the potential of impact investing gives them some credit.

Again note that you will find the categories mentioned above overlap.
So Watch out for IPO's, mergers and acquisitions and investment products labeled as ESG opportunity and maybe sometime soon: as impact fund or etf.

Type 5: Crowdfunding for Impact
A definition of Crowdfunding for Impact: using small amounts of capital from a large number of individual investors to finance an impact business (venture), product or service. Crowdfunding makes use of the internet, e-marketing and social media platforms to raise awareness and funds. Thus crowdfunding for impact has increased both social or impact entrepreneurship and the pool of impact investors from whom funds can be raised beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives, venture capitalists and traditional finance (banks).

Too many promising start ups or small companies cannot get credit from traditional finance. Crowdfunding has evolved into an alternative for fund raising with the added bonus of building a fan and customer base. Loans are more popular than equity and investors can boost the business by shopping there themselves and promoting the business amongst friends and family.

As interests are often much higher than banks give on savings and repayments can come in monthly crowdfunding is attractive for investors. Investment amounts go as low as 20euro with minimal costs, but withdrawing loans or selling equity is not as easy as with bank accounts or in the stock market.

Investing in a small enterprise is not merely investing in a dream, it is investing in work&income and maybe even an employment engine. In Western countries small enterprises create 60% of new jobs, in developing countries 30%. If micro finance is the miracle for the poor developing countries, maybe crowdfunding can be the employment engine for developed markets?

Crowdfunding is booming. Once the domain for charity or non financial repayment (eg a cd, dvd or theatre ticket when backing the production), it has rapidly evolved into a vivid economic activity. Governments have arranged regulation (such as maximum investments) and public auditors monitor operational requirements and activities. Rating agencies have stepped in to give investors insights in risk&return and this young sector is all about transparency and benchmarking attracting new investors on line.

Globally over a 1250 platforms have developed, some aiming at impact specifically, such as Dutch platform Lendahand, meso finance that offers loans to small&medium sized enterprises in Ghana, Columbia and the Philippines aiming at increasing employment. Only a few platforms are 100% about impact such as Greencrowd which finances solar panels for public buildings such as schools, hospitals and municipal buildings. Others such as Kapitaalopmaat offers search options for social enterprises and email alert services. Some platforms expect investors to search pro actively for impact investments. But Oneplanetcrowd twhich does crowdfunding for sustainable and social enterprises only. 

Making use of social media platforms crowdfunding organizations and funders work for both the funding and the marketing of the ventures by building fan/clientbases even before they start.

Internationally the CSR Hub is already monitoring and researching crowdfunded companies on ESG performance. It is still a modest data set, but more data will be available over time CSRHub/are-crowdfunded-companies-socially-responsible?

Crowdfunding for Impact is part of the booming crowdfunding universe which is expected to grow to 344billion US$ globally this year. According to Massolutions researching over 1250 crowdfundingplatforms globally: crowdsourcing.org. As far as I know there are no platforms for crowdfunding for impact yet that collects data or organizes knowledge sharing and cooperation.

Crowdfunding investments are a few clicks away and that low threshold beats banks, investment advisors and other intermediaries asking hefty fees.

With risk rating becoming the norm, interests higher than savings accounts and monthly pay out crowdfunding is an interesting alternative though liquidity is low.

New generations of younger investors with higher ambitions than mere return will jump the crowdfunding train changing the investment culture for good.

What's in it for you?
With interest on savings at an all time low investing in crowdfunding is an attractive alternative because a lot of it is mere lending money, so less risky than equity especially if the crowdfunding platform gives adjoining credit ratings. What will happen once saving accounts cost money, as banks charge negative interest?

A summary of this post is also available as LinkedIn PULSE Post and in Dutch with references here IINieuws/5-types-impact-investing

Mea Culpa: Missing in this map is 'informal investing'. I was going to state exclusiveness and/or non-transparency as the main reasons, but it is fair(er) to say I just don't have insights (but am well aware of the sizable market especially in the US and the UK and Toniic* states The Netherlands are far ahead in Europe). In the Dutch version I left it out because the 'official' NVP** data representing about 90-95% of the market only specifically mentions Venture Capital in biotechnology & cleantech. Nothing on sustainable products&services, social enterprises, BoP impact investing or access & affordability basic needs business models. *Toniic is the 'global action community for impact investors'. **The NVP: de Nederlandse Vereniging van ParticipatieMaatschapijen publishes an annual report: Ondernemend Vermogen 2014. In this is states that government bodies i.e. public/tax money is the second largest investor with 20% just after Family Offices with 25%. Quite remarkable they do not distinguish impact and sustainable investing.

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