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The case for philanthropy in impact investing
From blueprint to scale
Shifting attitudes towards financial and social return, new technologies and the promise shown by the microfinance revolution have led to new opportunities for market-based innovations to serve the global poor. These are being pioneered by ambitious entrepreneurs who are taking great risks for little potential financial reward, but for tremendous potential social value. Such ideas have elicited a rush to the new field of ‘impact investing’. But the field is young and many investors report that they are struggling to find good opportunities in which to invest for impact.
The key themes discussed in this report, produced in 2012 by Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), are based on the sum of extensive research into more than 700 inclusive businesses in Africa and India, and Acumen Fund’s decade of experience as a pioneering impact investor. They also draw together the experiences and observations of dozens of impact investors, grant funders, academics and other experts who were generous enough to share their thoughts.
In addition, a Monitor team conducted a three-month study of companies in the Acumen Fund portfolio whose development had been significantly affected by grant subsidies, to further develop our insights and provide helpful illustrations. Four company case studies are contained in the main report, and two further case studies can be found as an appendix.