Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Barcelona – November 2018.
In Spain, impact investing has grown by 16.5% in the last two years, standing at EUR 311 million as of dec.-17, according to the Spanish Association of Sustainable Investment (Asociación Española de Inversión Sostenible, Spainsif), a relevant growth, though still far from international volumes (EUR 248 million, 146% growth 2014-2016, led by USA and UK). Impact investment only represents 1% of the volume of socially responsible investment (SRI) at international level. Given the key role of this type of asset for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a strong trend to boost impact investment, movement that favours the adhesion of Spain to the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (GSG). In this context, Foro Impacto (FI) - promoted by UnLtd Spain, Open Value Foundation and Eurocapital Wealth Management EAFI - is leading the Working Group for Social Impact Investing in Spain, known as the “Spanish Social Investment Task Force”, with the straight support of EY(financial services firm), BBK (financial entity), GAWA Capital, Ship2B and Creas – promotors of entrepreneurship and impact investing. The movement is also supported by several foundations, such as Anesvad, Social Nest, Inuit, Compromiso y Transparencia, and other social initiatives such as Bolsa Social. After the meetings held in Madrid and Bilbao with the aim of designing the actions on how to boost the “supply” and “demand” of impact investing respectively, “intermediation”, with the role of catalysing this investment between both forces, starred the third plenary session ("Intermediation in Impact Investing") that took place in Barcelona on November 22nd, 2018. The conference represents a call to the business and financial community in Spain to join forces in order to promote the creation of new innovative companies, adapted to market regulation and committed to society and the environment. The movement of FI has expanded along with the sessions progress and global consensus, gathering 60 institutions in Barcelona. According to the session's participants, the value of business in the future will be equal to the value of the solution they bring to social challenge, since profitability of the businesses will depend on their ability to monetize the social value. Three key challenges were identified:
Find and diffuse clear success stories with a broad measurable social impact, and consistent financial return;
Impact measurement and management, through a homogeneous consensus methodology;
The need to involve institutional investors in the impact assets market.
In words of Amit Bhatia, CEO of the GSG, “The challenge is to determine how we can unlock capital to finance social entrepreneurship in the same way that we did to finance capitalism". The Task Force's work will end in the adhesion of Spain to the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing in 2019.
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