The Impact Investor

This handbook analyzes the growth of the global microfinance industry in order to equip social investment practitioners in the United Kingdom (U.K.) with analytical tools to make tactical and strategic decisions to advance the sector.

The social investment market in the U.K. has reached a critical juncture. The market remains fragile, although there is some evidence of coordinated market-building efforts. The handbook reviews the development of the global microfinance industry, organizing it into three conceptual areas:

  • Proof of concept, donor support and model innovation, which highlights the pivotal role of leading pioneers in the microfinance industry;
  • Market-building activities, which saw the establishment of the essential elements of a functioning capital market;
  • Movement-building and cultural factors which describes the scaling up of the microfinance industry.

The handbook highlights similarities and differences between microfinance and other social investment mechanisms. It cautions against social investment practitioners adopting the entire microfinance story, or expecting that the scaling of the social investment market will necessarily mirror that of microfinance in all aspects.





Charities Aid Foundation


Paul Cheng, Rob Hodgkinson, Casey Lord


February 1, 2011

Media Type:



Impact Investing, Microfinance