Look For Profit Before Social Impact

IMPACT investing is finding its niche in society, according to panellists in the WED WEB CHAT — Impact Investing: What Works?

This blend of profit and purpose is being embraced by the next generation, who are on the lookout for purpose and causes to fulfil. But, increasingly, organisations and businesses are looking for opportunities to invest in businesses that also result in social good.

The way ahead is challenging as the double bottom line of turning a profit and delivering on the good work is not something that is easy to achieve.

Running a viable business in this age of disruption is already quite challenging but then to have to also carve a niche in your schedule to devote time and resources to improving the lot of others adds to the load.

Organised by STORM-ASIA.COM the WED WEB CHAT — Impact Investing: What Works? sought opinions from panellists at various stages of the impact investing continuum.

Prof. Dr. Jack Sim is known as a serial entrepreneur who has turned his attention to a basic human need — toilets. His World Toilet Organization is aiming to improve the sanitation services in rural areas and he is looking to figure out how to monetise his cause.

Jayesh Parekh of Good Startup has worked with Sony Entertainment and IBM, and is now working with alternative protein sources. He is an investor with an eye firmly set on the future.

Naina Subberwal Batra is the CEO of AVPN, a regional social investment network that enables social investment for impact.

The discussion defined the role of impact investing, the approach to the subject and what steps need to be taken to improve the standing of impact investing.

The WED WEB CHAT offered many examples and helped bring clarity to the topic which is going through a process of quick and constant evolution.

Here are video highlights from the WED WEB CHAT — Impact Investing: What Works?

You can watch the full discussion at the foot of this article.

Weightage & Impact

Outcomes can be hard to measure in the impact investing sector. For investors, it’s often a case of figuring out a portfolio of investments, ranging from pure profit to a mix of impact and profit, and eventually finding a way to subsidise the various businesses in this blended portfolio.

Profit With Purpose

Companies must have impact embedded in the business model. It’s important that a business realises its main purpose is to create profits, and that social impact is a by-product. Whether it’s low-cost toilets or medical services, an impact investor will still look for a viable business before investing.

Growing The Impact Community

There is no shortage of available funds or interest in the impact investing space, provided the business model works. What’s still required is a standard metric to measure the impact, and wash away any impact washing measures being used.

Watch the full discussion of WED WEB CHAT — Impact Investing: What Works? below.

Watch our previous wedwebchats: https://storm-asia.com/category/wed-web-chat/

If you have a topic that is of interest, or have someone who would make a good panellist with a thought-provoking perspective on a subject, please email editor@storm-asia.com with your details and a short summary.

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