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Impact investors earn more than good karma
Category: Social Development | By RAGM, 1-Dec-2011 | Viewed 4369  Comments 0 | Original Source
Impact Investing
Commentary: The majority of social enterprises profit

By Thomas Kostigen
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) The majority of small, social enterprises aimed at doing good in the developing world are profitable, according to a new report by the Global Impact Investing Network.

This is impressive given the size and the scope of the GIIN survey, which looked at financial data from nearly 2,400 organizations across the globe. The organizations are mission-driven businesses receiving or seeking impact investment capital. The entire GIIN performance report can be found here http://www.thegiin.org/binary-data/Data_Driven_IRIS_report_final.pdf.

Impact investments do two things: they provide a financial return to investors and they foster a positive social impact upon the world. These businesses are commonly called social enterprises, and the capital they receive typically comes in the form of private equity.

An estimated $50 billion of assets has been invested in such social enterprises, according to a report co-authored by J.P. Morgan and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The GIIN performance report picks up where that report left off and provides key insight into where all that money is going and whether it will, in fact, pay off both in terms of social and financial capital. According to the report, 70% of microfinance institutions that reported their financial results through the Microfinance Information Exchange, and 63% of those that reported through an intermediary (such as a fund) were profitable.

"This report is the first step towards this collective learning, and the industry should act on opportunities to contribute data to increase the rigor of future analyses," the GIIN report says. The data collection is part of the association's Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) initiative.

The full story can be read at Marketwatch: http://goo.gl/X6dL6
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