This report assesses the progress made over the past four years in building the global impact investing industry. It is divided into three parts: fi rst, context, which introduces the structure of and key actors in the impact investing fi eld; next, an examination of the recent achievements and challenges in building the impact investing marketplace; and fi nally, presentation of a set of recommendations for accelerating the rate of growth of the fi eld. Accelerating impact is the organizing theme of this report. Looking back, the past four years have certainly seen accelerated growth in, among other things, the number of organizations in the fi eld, the quantum of capital mobilized, the variety of fi nancial products offered, the number of participants in key networks, the number and depth of research outputs by the industry, and the range of methods and tools for measuring impact. In spite of this impressive progress, however, global impact investing still faces a range of challenges and complexities. Looking ahead, there is both a need and an opportunity for industry leaders to join together to catalyze a powerful further acceleration—a surge in the rate of growth—across a wider range of dimensions, in order for the field to reach maturity, scale and sustainability.
Impact Investing: What It Is and Where It Stands Today
While investing for a mix of fi nancial and social or environmental returns is not new, four factors identifi ed in the Monitor Report have converged in recent years to generate new interest and activity in what has come to be known as impact investing:
These factors have sparked considerable growth in the impact investing industry over the past four years. And, while the fi eld remains in what the Monitor Report called the “marketplacebuilding” phase, the evidence reviewed for the present study suggests that if leaders can sustain and further scale this growth, the industry could evolve to the next phase—capturing the value of the marketplace and benefi ting from the entrance and energy of new, mainstream players.
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