There is a critical and pioneering role for lawyers to play in advancing the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. As social entrepreneurship and impact investing become mainstream, as companies and investors look not only to financial performance, but also to social and environmental impact, there is a growing need for new legal systems, new legal structures, new legal thinking and innovation.
In May, members of the Good Capital Project team traveled to Jordan on the invitation of the Jordan country team of the United Nations on a fact-finding mission to study at close quarters the SDG investment landscape of Jordan. Over the trip, the leadership of the UN country team and GCP members, met a broad range of stakeholders at central government, local government, central bank, leading private corporations, international development agencies, accelerator programs, and entrepreneurs with the intent to understand the current initiatives underway to bolster the investment ecosystem, and the impediments to attract and retain private investments in Jordan.
The SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network is coordinated by The Intentional Endowments Network to help connect stakeholders including students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and financial professionals on campuses across the country that are involved with student-managed funds pursuing sustainable investing strategies and sustainable investing curriculum development. Participants share best practices, resources, curricula, and undertake other activities to support sustainable investing funds and education.
For any industry to grow, eventually lawyers need to be involved to create the legal framework and structures that allow an efficient market to flourish. There needs to be a rule of law, set of market norms, and legislated regulatory framework which is necessary for an industry to achieve scale. Otherwise, the sector will become the Wild West.
Our goal is to reimagine the future of higher education. We utilize a design-thinking approach, which means we start with the ‘answer.’ In our case, the ‘answer’ for the vast majority of people who enroll in higher education institutions is they want a good first job, or a better job.
On July 11th, ImpactPHL and The Philadelphia Citizen hosted Citizen Speakers - Business for Good. Over 150 innovators, entrepreneurs, and social impact stakeholders gathered to discuss how businesses can influence positive social change in local communities. The panel included entrepreneurial leaders from Landit, B Corporation, Sundial Brands, and La Colombe Coffee. After thought-provoking panel discussions and Q&A, the event ended with Emmet Dennis, Chief Community Officer of Sundial Brands, inspiring attendees to work towards an impactful legacy. “All great entrepreneurs go after problems that we are not going to solve in our lifetime. Our legacy is to build a framework for our children and their children to follow.”
As responsible investing gains momentum, the world’s most influential asset managers are expanding the application of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles as a strategic investment tool. Asset managers, such as Blackrock and Wells Fargo, are about to launch their first-ever ESG funds for retirement savings plans, in a validation of the remarkable growth in demand for responsible investment options.
Universities are ramping up impact investing curriculums.Education is a vital component to progress impact investing from a niche sector to the mainstream financial markets. Universities across the United States are developing curricula to train the next generation of financial professionals in the increasingly popular field of social impact investing.
My journey started about 15 years ago when we were asked by our clients to consider evaluating social risk within the context of fixed income investment portfolios. This resulted in a negative-screening process to eliminate companies involved in tobacco production, religious issues, international affairs/human rights, alcohol, and carbon emissions. We wanted to eschew certain segments of the market in an attempt to incorporate social values while investing to create better returns.
From JUST CAPITAL: JUST Capital is thrilled to announce a critical new step in our mission to create a more just marketplace. On June 13, Goldman Sachs Asset Management launched the JUST U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (Ticker: JUST) – the first ever exchange-traded fund designed to align with the American public’s priorities for just business behavior, based on JUST Capital’s research.
When the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation approached the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service’s Social Innovation & Investment Initiative (SII) to review its decade-long history with impact investing, there was a clear alignment on objectives of documenting best practices in impact investing in order to strengthen this emerging sector.
The US SIF Foundation released a guide for financial advisors on how to incorporate sustainable, responsible and impact investing into their practice. The Financial Advisor Roadmap was prepared with insights from financial advisors and other industry professionals.
Total Impact Philadelphia was proud to host the launch of the PhilaImpact Fund. Click here to learn about this innovative investment solution, jointly developed by The Philadelphia Foundation and Reinvestment Fund.
GCP is now in the prototype stage. We are developing – in partnership and collaboration with other stakeholders – prototypes of initiatives to address some of the challenges that surfaced during the discovery phase.