Forward-looking companies are addressing the biggest issues facing society through business-led ventures that, while remaining profitable, are impactful, scalable, measurable, replicable, and that go beyond business as usual. Most importantly, these solutions are aligned to a company’s core business. However, the lack of internal and external financing options that can be dedicated towards developing social impact offerings often stalls or prevents action. How can we unlock appropriate capital to support and scale corporate efforts towards social innovation?
The shape and scale of the current market for social impact finance is not well understood. Despite a clear understanding of the benefits of social impact to sustainability and growth, both companies and investors are struggling to scale up their efforts when it comes to sourcing and supplying appropriate financial support.
Social impact initiatives enable companies to better manage risks, anticipate consumers’ demand, build positions in growth markets, secure access to needed resources, and strengthen supply chains. Improving alignment and collaboration between institutional investors, impact investors and corporations will help to advance appropriate financing models to stimulate and de-risk corporate efforts towards social innovation and impact.
The project seeks to understand and stimulate the market for capital to facilitate business initiatives that generate both business value and social impact – for example, by developing new products and services, reaching new markets, and strengthening supply chains. Our goal is to build a joint understanding of the different types and sources of capital available for different types of initiative. This insight is intended to orient companies towards appropriate capital, and to help investors think about where they can play and how to unlock such capital on a greater scale. In addition, it can highlight areas where additional collaborative action could contribute to advancing the market and supporting additional scale in corporate action for social impact.