Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets

Harnessing the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and capital for public good

The Taskforce on Social Impact Investment, established by UK Prime Minister David Cameron under the UK’s presidency of the G8, and chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, recently launched its report, entitled Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets – Harnessing the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and capital for public good. The report calls on governments and the financial sector to take action to unleash $1 trillion of private sector impact investment to tackle social problems.

Eight National Advisory Boards and four International Working Groups were created to inform the work of the taskforce. Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP are proud to have supported the Impact Measurement Working Group.

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The report highlights the potential that impact investment has to help solve some of society’s most pressing issues, and lays out several clear recommendations, devised by government and private sector experts from across the G7, EU, and Australia.

High-level recommendations

  • Set measurable impact objectives and track their achievement
  • Investors to consider three dimensions: risk, return and impact
  • Clarify fiduciary responsibilities of trustees: to allow trustees to consider social as well as financial return on their investments
  • Pay-for-success commissioning: governments should consider streamlining pay-for-success arrangements such as social impact bonds and adapting national ecosystems to support impact investment
  • Consider setting up an impact investment wholesaler funded with unclaimed assets to drive development of the impact investment sector
  • Boost social sector organizational capacity: governments and foundations to consider establishing capacity-building grants programs
  • Give Profit-with- Purpose businesses the ability to lock-in mission: governments to provide appropriate legal forms or provisions for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to secure social mission into the future
  • Support impact investment’s role in international development: governments to consider providing their development finance institutions with flexibility to increase impact investment efforts. Explore creation of an Impact Finance Facility to help attract early-stage capital, and a DIB Social Outcomes Fund to pay for successful development impact bonds.
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