Social Entrepreneurs tackle social and environmental challenges in Europe as well as in developing countries, the ecosystem shows a dynamic and impressing growth.
However, this start-ups can only unfold their full potential when they are financially supported by impact investing through the different asset classes. Finance for Change embedded by the Impact HUB Berlin offered a bootcamp to the people interested in the field of impact investing to get inspired, to learn and to connect.
According to the annual investing survey by JP Morgan, the global volume of impact oriented investment assets under management increased by 30% between 2012 and 2014 and is currently estimated at EUR 11 billion. In both developing and developed countries the number of financial institutions, cooperations but also development organisations and foundations exploring new opportunities in this new field is increasing, even though there is a quite blurred understanding of the term.
Despite this tremendous growth the financial opportunities for early stage Social Entrepreneurs in the D-A-CH region are critical. Unfortunately, they lack financial capital in this especially important phase of their development. Therefore the exchange of experiences between the pioneers in this field was very important. The experts in Berlin discussed hybrid finance structures to match different risk-return profiles of philanthropic, public and return-seeking investors as well as the adapted structuring of impact investment funds.
SEIF is focussing in a first step on the early stage phase of impact investing with the angel network of the Impact Investors Circle. It was a great opportunity to exchange the lessons learned of the first year with like minded people and to get feedback from other impact angel networks as the one in Vienna. The instrument of impact investing funds attracted a lot of attention from different institutional players and it seems to have a lot of ideas and potential in the pipeline. Regardless the different impact investing instruments, one important topic was completely clear for all the participants: there is a great need for awareness building to bring in more and different actors in the nascent field of impact investing.