The growing field of impact investing focuses on investing capital with the deliberate intention of achieving both financial value (return on capital) and social value (positive impact on social and environmental problems). In early-stage impact investing, the investees are social enterprises that are either pre-revenue or just earning revenue. Early-stage enterprises are an important investment focus for impact investors because the groundwork is laid during this phase for the company’s customers, revenue model, impact thesis (its theory of change about how it will create social value), and overall sustainability.
This e-guide, which draws from members of the Toniic Network—a global impact investing network—as well as their peers, aims to help those with an interest in investing in early-stage impact enterprises see how this work is being done around the world. Readers can go from learning to action as global practitioners in impact investing by using the following 7-Step Framework which is articulated in detail in the e-guide.
The e-guide concludes with a series of case studies and regional guides. The case studies demonstrate, as well as complement, the 7-Step Framework with detailed, real examples of investments made by the Toniic Network and their peers. The regional guides serve as a starting point for exploring impact investing in different areas around the globe. They articulate the general strengths and weaknesses of impact investing in different global regions, and also include lists of organizations that might be of use to an interested investor.
This paper was made possible by a grant to the Toniic Institute from the Rockefeller Foundation, and collaboration with CASE i3. It would have been impossible to create without the participation and expertise of the many members of Toniic and their impact investing peers around the globe.