The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) discusses why India was chosen for this year’s major global gathering of impact investment leaders.
In the UK, the impact investment community has benefited enormously from government support, which has resulted in the incubation of numerous ambitious organisations that have been able to ramp up the impact sector.
But outside the UK, particularly in emerging markets where many of the world's poorest live, there remains vast potential to educate both social enterprises and policy-makers of the potential benefits impact investment holds. This is precisely why this year’s Global Steering Group for Impact Investment Impact Summit is being held in India, after three years of successful events in the developed regions of the US and EU.
India, a large and quickly growing nation, is one of the most important impact investment markets in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Home to a sixth of the world’s poor, addressing urgent social challenges faced by the country’s population is critical. Impact investment has already taken off to a degree, with the launch of a national advisory board in 2014, the launch of non-profit intermediary Social Finance India and the launch of two $1 billion impact funds focusing on poverty reduction.
This year’s event -The Power of Impact: Driving to Tipping Point 2020 - is both a celebration of past success, as well as a demonstration of the vast unproven potential of impact investment. The GSG is hosting world renowned speakers, such as former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, Prince Max of Liechtenstein and GSG Chair Sir Ronald Cohen, along with more than 100 other thought leaders, who will present their views of how we can best support those enterprises that are, and must continue to be, front and centre of the impact movement. For they are the ones with the capability to create the change we need to create a more equitable society.
At the summit, Big Society Capital (BSC) CEO Cliff Prior will present the results of GSG working group research, which will reveal how pioneer impact investment wholesalers can speed up and scale up impact investment in their countries and build a market that stretches beyond their direct remit. The research showed that wholesalers need to take full account of country goals and contexts, so there is no single blueprint: rather, a set of design elements for countries to fit to their situation. The report is expected to support existing wholesalers improve their work and help more countries design and launch fit-for-purpose wholesale organisations.
In 2012, BSC became the world’s first impact investment wholesaler and one year later, it was joined by the European Investment Bank’s Social Impact Accelerator. The working group is optimistic that 2018 will see another two more open, and in 2019, it could easily be another four. No doubt this expansion, and the benefits it will bring to budding social enterprises, will be a hot topic of discussion at the Summit in October.
Register for the GSG Impact 2018 Summit on 8-9 October 2018.