A new economic report released, on Tuesday, provided insight into the major trends impacting investment today and their ability to tackle some of the world's most intractable societal problems.
The report was conducted by the Research Institute of the Swiss Bank Credit Suisse, in collaboration with the Swiss NGO Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. It was titled "Investing for Impact: How social entrepreneurship is redefining the meaning of return." The report said that "today, more than ever before, investors and entrepreneurs are proactively investing capital in solutions designed to generate a positive social or environmental impact, as well as the potential for financial returns". In practice, these solutions are emerging in most parts of the world, across nearly all asset classes, and at many different levels of risk and return. And although this field is still at a relatively early stage in its development, recent activities suggest that "Impact Investing" may be reaching a tipping point, with the potential to channel large-scale private capital for social and environmental benefit. In the report, the Credit Suisse Research Institute explored the opportunities and complexities of "Impact Investing" by focusing on Social Entrepreneurship which allows direct investments made into social enterprises to provide scalable, self-sustaining solutions to address global problems. The report further covers the latest trends shaping the field of Impact Investing, including the promise and risks of scaling growth for social enterprises, the importance of the right mix of financing structures to achieve scale, the development of standardized metrics, and the lessons learned by pioneering Impact Investors.