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South Africa: Impact Investing – We Must Encourage More Professionals to Enter the Exponentially Growing Sphere

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The Global Impact Investing Network reported that impact investing management increased by more than 40 times between 2016 and 2020, from $15-billion to $715-billion. Despite the local and global uptick in this investment approach, the path to establishing a career in impact investing is anything but transparent.

As the world grows to expect more from the financial services industry, funders and recipients are being compelled to consider the broader impacts of their decisions. This has been influenced by various factors including consumers’ increased awareness. For example, 60% of millennials believe that making socially responsible investments is a critical part of one’s investment strategy, whereas only 36% of baby boomers have the same belief.

Since its inception in 2007, impact investing has grown swiftly. In 2016, the Global Impact Investing Network reported impact investing assets under management at $15-billion, increasing by more than 40 times to $715-billion in 2020.

Although the investment approach is growing globally and locally, the path to establishing a career in impact investing is less clear, especially without exposure and networks. Introducing impact investing early on into traditional finance and economics curriculums has the ability to nurture both. When correctly designed, it has the potential to conscientise…