The Power of Impact Investment: a book review

The Rockefeller Foundation recently launched a book on impact investment. It is a good introduction to the emerging practice of using investment to create social impact while realizing financial returns.

Related concepts from Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), CSR & Corporate Shared Value, Venture Philanthropy, etc. are put into context with impact investment , especially on how these models are related or different from each other.

An overview of global situation is explored, from Africa to Asia (Thailand is mentioned several times although without any details though T_T )

The book provides lots of impact investment models and practices that are insightful and exciting.

My only two comments on the book are

1. Readers might misunderstood venture philanthropy as just grant support, from the discussion in the book it’s easy for people to misunderstood towards that direction. It’s important to emphasise that in venture philanthropy models, although the source of fund is grant, the use of fund can be quite mix of either grant, loan or equity. Many VP funds aim to attain capital preservation as well.

2. Examples of impact investment services are a bit too focused on American context. I’m sure later editions might include more European (which could be argued to be as developed as the US social investment industry) and others that are emerging.

Click here for the Book’s link

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