Demystifying Impact Investing

Demystifying Impact Investing The purpose of this report is to evaluate the size, scope and scale of the impact investment sector. We sought to answer several core questions. Firstly, rather than seek to develop a single comprehensive definition of impact investing, we have differentiated between investments on the basis of whether they seek to generate financial returns comparable to traditional investment with the same risk profile or whether they also accept lower financial returns to achieve higher social returns. To add a further layer of differentiation, we also distinguish between investment that focus on creating impact in developed and developing country markets. This approach allowed us to categorize the forms of capital and the geographic focus. Next, we sought to develop a clearer picture of what constitutes a market rate of return in impact investing and how this compares to traditional investments. We also examined the difference between targeted and realized rates of returns in impact investing to assess the performance of this investment category.





Sauder School of Business, ISIS Research


British Columbia, Canada


Jana Svedova; Alfonso Cuyegkeng; James Tansey


April 1, 2014

Media Type:



Impact Investing