According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Impact Investing (II) could be defined as an impact made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. According to JP Morgan, this type of investment represents US$100 billion in 2015, with should become US$500 billion in 2020. Compared to other sources of ethical investments as Socially or Sustainable Responsible Investing (SRI) (in terms of assets under management, II represents 1% of global SRI market), II goes further in prioritizing ethical and social stakes to financial stakes, in order to demonstrate the proof and the result instead of the declarative intention of environmental, social and governance practices (ESG). But despite its virtuous characteristics, II doesn’t really draw attention of academic research, more focused on SRI debates. However, II can be thought as a response of actors to the global context of sustainability crisis and to a way to promote for a diversification of the financial positivist paradigm. Although that this market lacks of structure and visibility, the role played by academics could be strategic to support II to be a new way for investors and practitioners that are searching for transparency and impact measurement of their investment. This special issue proposes to circumvent the concept of II through its characteristics and to focus the debate around its current stakes (legitimacy of assessors, intermediation between investors and social enterprises, the way to measure a social impact, the opposition between declarative intentions of SRI and the evidence of social impact generated by II, role of public authorities in the promoting of II…)
Possible themes that relate to this question include:
- Structure of the II market (actors, mechanisms…)
- Historic of the emergence and development of II
- II and SRI: opposition or possibility for synergy
- Debate between extra-financial communication (declarative intention) and evidence of the impact
- Models for assessment of impact measurement (how to measure a social impact?)
- Legitimacy of existing evaluation references and grids
- Way for an intermediation between impact investors and social enterprises
- II and the way to consider another paradigm for academic finance
- How to frame II within regulation and labels?
- The role of public authorities to promote II
- The role of crowdfunding and venture capital in the development of II
Full papers should be submitted to the ‘Impact Investing’ special issue via the Elsevier platform http://ees.elsevier.com/ribaf/.
The submission deadline is April 1st, 2016.
For any query, please contact the editors: Christophe Revelli () or Thomas Lagoarde-Segot ().