Mainstreaming Positive Innovations from Impact Investing

The impact investment sector is growing fast but concerted efforts are needed to make it mainstream. This will require new metrics and standards to measure impact, new skills and knowledge for practitioners and opportunities to share best practice within, and between, institutions.

An unprecedented proliferation of large multinationals across industry sectors is seeking to align their businesses with the global climate and sustainable development agenda. Looking at climate change alone, more than 1,500 companies, representing $11.4 trillion, have made net zero commitments, equivalent to half of the US’s GDP.1 Given the market power and far-reaching supply chains of large multinationals, it is vital that they deliver on those commitments.

Start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial too. They are job creators, vital for inclusive economic development in industrializing and industrialized countries alike, and driving positive social impact. Globally, 90 per cent of all enterprises and 50 per cent of the global work force are estimated to be or employed by SMEs.2 In the formal economy of emerging markets, SMEs are responsible for 45 per cent of jobs and 33 per cent of national GDP.3 These sectors will be vital in meeting SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth and SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure. Indeed, start-ups and SMEs are often the disrupters and innovators that are needed to develop new solutions to achieving radical emission reductions and a sustainable resource economy.

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