Mapping the Trillion Dollar Impact Investing Sector, with Rehana Nathoo, The Case Foundation

The Impact Investing Network Map visually presents the best publicly available information on impact investments.

Rehana Nathoo, Case Foundation

Rehana Nathoo, Case Foundation

Any good entrepreneur will tell you, problems are opportunities. People in a remote village don’t have access to electricity, and yet, they have funds for kerosene. Companies like d.light and Barefoot Power see a market opportunity. Consumers throw textile and garment waste into landfills, generating 14 million tons of waste per year in the United States. Stacy Flynn launches Evrnu, turning cotton waste into a usable fabric.

Social Entrepreneurs turn global problems, including the Sustainable Development Goals, into sustainable businesses. But ideas like these need capital in order to launch and grow.

Impact investing is the simple idea that an investment can have a financial return while also having an environmental or social return. Some would argue that, in fact, all investments have a social return, whether positive or negative.

Impact investing can be a complex topic. Investors can have a wide range of impact objectives from education to healthcare. They may focus on specific industries or geographies. They may choose from a wide array of investment mechanisms from equity to grants. To really understand this landscape, one needs a reliable map. That is exactly what The Case Foundation has set out to do – to map the impact investment space.

The Case Foundation was created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case. Rehana Nathoo leads the impact investing effort at The Case Foundation.

“The core of Impact Investing is made up of three levels,” according to Rehana. The first is that the investment has to be intentional. The second aspect of Impact Investing is measuring results. The final factor of impact investing is transparency.

Initially, impact investing was led by pioneering foundations and families. However, within the last decade, there has been a number of large-scale players jumping into the mix. New investment instruments have come into being, allowing anyone to direct their savings and investments toward social causes.

The Case Foundation, in partnership with ImpactSpace and Crunchbase, is developing the Impact Investing Network Map to show the connections between investors, companies, and funds within Impact Investing. The map is a data-driven visualization of all of the impact investing transactions to date. The map indicates who is investing, how they are doing it, and where their money is going.

Once you open the tool you are given the option to the explore the map as a company or as an investor. This allows you to see the world based on what you really care about. From here, you can see the connections being made between investors and businesses. Additionally, there are filters that can be used to narrow down the data and display it in a more digestible form. While this tool does not display performance of companies, it does show who is connected to whom in the impact investing world.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Rehana Nathoo

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Impact Investing has to be intentional.” @rehananathoo @CaseFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We have a responsibility as a field to take the judgment out of impact investing.” @rehananathoo @CaseFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“There is no hesitation about using the dollar and 140 twitter characters to make it clear what is okay.” @rehananathoo @CaseFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Putting education in the hands of every single part, there is real value in that.” @rehananathoo @CaseFoundation”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Be very clear on what your objectives are.” @rehananathoo @CaseFoundation”]

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

 

About the Author
Tony Loyd is a TEDx speaker, podcast host and the author of Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. He is a former Fortune 500 executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, talent management, and leadership development. Tony is the host of the podcast Social Entrepreneur where you can hear the stories of changemakers who are making an impact on the world.

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