“Investors continue to operate within a market infrastructure and investment ecosystem where incentives do not generally balance social, environmental and economic impact. Impact investing – an investment approach intentionally seeking to create both financial return and social impact that is actively measured – has been lauded as an emerging investment approach with the potential to reconcile key shortcomings in the traditional financial markets. Yet so far less than US$40 billion of capital has been committed to impact investments out of tens of trillions in global capital.
With this context in mind, the World Economic Forum launched the Mainstreaming Impact Investing initiative in 2012. The overarching objective of the initiative is to identify the factors required to accelerate the flow of capital to impact investments from traditional and mainstream investors and progress the industry among investors, intermediaries and policy-makers to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Impact investing is inherently a multistakeholder issue – from investors deploying the capital, to entrepreneurs putting the capital to work, to individuals and communities seeing the impact on their families and environment, to governments leveraging innovative funding approaches of social impact investing. The World Economic Forum and its sister organization, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, are committed to convening leading thinkers and practitioners to generate actionable insights on impact investing and collaborations that can improve the state of the world."