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The impact investment market is expected to grow to USD 500 billion by 2014, representing an average annual growth rate of nearly 60% since 2009. Still, at USD 500 billion, the impact investment market would still amount to only about 1% of global equity market capitalization.
-Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

What is Impact Investing?

Impact investing is mobilizing resources to invest in companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

Financial returns from impact investments range from a return of principal capital to market-rate or even market-beating financial returns. Although impact investing could be categorized as a type of "socially responsible investing," it contrasts with negative screening, which focuses primarily on avoiding investments in "bad" or "harmful" companies. Instead, impact investors actively seek to capitalize businesses and funds that are part of a global solution.

A rapidly growing supply of capital is seeking placement in impact investments across geographies, sectors, and asset classes, with a wide range of return expectations. The glue that binds those who operate in the impact investing industry is the shared conviction that they play a crucial part in addressing social and environmental challenges by funding socially or environmentally driven businesses.