June 2015

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Impact measurement: asking some difficult questions

A recent report explores the activities of leading UK social investment intermediaries (i.e. funds that make social investments). The report is useful reading for anyone who would like to understand how these intermediaries assess potential investment opportunities, both in terms of financial and social returns, and subsequently how performance of...

Work with us to put global economies on path of zero net emissions by 2050

  This is an open letter imploring the leaders of our organisations to work with us to turn back the tide of climate change by deploying the vast human and financial capital at our disposal in support of the long-term goal of net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. Join our...

Nesta: November 2014 Happy Hour with Matt Mead, CIO of Nesta

Our latest Happy Hour with Matt Mead, CIO of Nesta, was extremely insightful on one of the oldest impact investing funds in the UK. Matt gave us a brief history of his career from chartered accountancy, by way of corporate recovery and a life time of lessons in...

Social entrepreneurship and education

There appears to be growing attention around the role of education in social impact and social entrepreneurs with a number of blogs addressing the subject in recent weeks. The Huffington Post presented a business case for social education, arguing that such education would yield benefits for businesses in equipping...

The Gates Foundation and the ‘last mile’

All Africa, a news website which reports across Africa, recently published an interview with Dr Ayo Ajayi of the Gates Foundation.  Ajayi, who heads up the Africa team at the Gates Foundation, outlined the Foundation's changing focus in it's work in Africa which now emphasises the importance of...

Climate Change Commitments

News headlines regarding climate change are gathering pace ahead of this year's UN forum on climate change (COP21) and last week was no exception. The week kicked off with new commitments made by G7 leaders who pledged to drive the move to a 'low-carbon global economy' and cease use of...

Assessing Social Investment Returns

One of the questions often asked when people are first introduced to the concept of 'impact investment' is whether the social upside leads to financial downside. This week saw the publication of perhaps the most comprehensive attempt to answer that question to date. The analysis, which assessed the returns of over 400 impact...

Wall Street and Charities

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article exploring the relationship between finance professionals and positions on nonprofit boards, arguing that they have a growing and indeed disproportionate share of positions on such boards, resulting in a lack of diversity. The article assesses why...

Profile: Geeta Aiyer

  Geeta Aiyer, CFA, is President and Founder of Boston Common Asset Management and a member of the Advisory Council of the UN-­‐supported Principles for Responsible Investment; Geeta was recently awarded the Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets and we were fortunate...

CEO of Big Society Capital to step down

Last week it was announced that Nick O'Donohoe, CEO of UK social investment wholesale bank Big Society Capital, will depart by the end of 2015. Whilst much of the media coverage focused on Nick's achievements to date, for example overseeing drawdowns of £136m since BSC's launch, an OpEd published...

Queen’s Speech: Social Enterprise UK recap

Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for UK social enterprises, have recapped last week's Queen's Speech, highlighting considerations relevant for social enterprises. Amongst other things, the speech outlined the Charity (Protection and Social Investment bill), aiming to better facilitate social investment for interested charities.  Check out the full list here....