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People, Planet & Profit - How impact investing is changing the financial world

No matter whether it is sustainable agriculture or the construction of day-care centres - many investors today want to invest their assets wisely and responsibly. One of the best-known strategies for combining economic, social and ecological interests is impact investing.

With impact investing, the willingness to invest meets the capital requirements of social and ecological projects: Investors pursue the intention to create a positive effect for society and the environment and at least to recover the invested capital as a return. Ideally, Impact Investments aim at at least one of the 17 goals for sustainable development of the United Nations, which are to be achieved by 2030. The money invested thus flows directly into projects that attempt to solve social and environmental problems such as poverty or climate change. In contrast to sustainable investments, the capital goes directly to social enterprises in the form of equity investments or loans.

With a good conscience

With impact-oriented investing, the intention of the investors is the main focus. They make a conscious decision to invest in projects that were founded to create a positive impact on society and the environment and that are causally related to the investments made. It must be possible to measure the social impact of the investment capital transparently, and it must be visible to investors, who can thus watch the projects grow. This is particularly appealing to young investors who strive to make a contribution to the world. According to a survey by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), 98% of the investors surveyed exceeded their expectations in terms of impact, and 91% even received higher returns than initially assumed.

Impact investing - no longer a fashionable trend

"Impact investing is probably the most exciting of all sustainable investment strategies"- even large banks such as JP Morgan have already recognised the potential of impact investing. Funds such as AnandaVentures or BonVentures, which focus on social entrepreneurship, offer specific portfolios for investors. And the market for interested investors is also significant: according to the GIIN, 1340 organisations today already manage a total of 502 million USD for the benefit of social and ecological goals. Moreover, 15 million investors in Germany are already thinking not only about themselves but also about future generations when investing. If you would like to learn more about impact investing and other socially and ecologically responsible business practices, the event "SensAbility - The WHU ImpactSummit" is just the right thing for you! SensAbility is Europe's largest student-organised conference on Social and Sustainable Business. Students, young professionals and entrepreneurs will be shown concrete possibilities to rethink and redesign the economy in terms of sustainability. Exciting speeches, hands-on workshops and exciting discussions provide a platform for mutual exchange and inspiration.

This article was published in cooperation with our partner Social Startup Magazin.

Mareike Dierkes

Photo © Nattanan Kanchanaprat via Pixabay

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