Social enterprise investment

Impact investing

Investors are increasingly seeking to achieve positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. This approach is known as impact investing and is defined by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) as having a number of key characteristics:

  • It is the intent of the investor to have a positive social or environmental impact through their investments.
  • There is an expectation of financial return.
  • Investments target a range of financial returns and assets classes.
  • The investor is committed to measuring and reporting on the social and environmental performance of the investments.

Under the broad category of impact investing there are a number of more specialised approaches, including social investment, impact first investment and social enterprise investment. These vary primarily according to the balance between financial and social or environmental returns being sought, though all share the same objective of generating positive impact through investment.

Many of the investment portfolios we manage incorporate impact investments alongside ethical and responsible investments.

Social enterprise investment

In addition to our core service of bespoke investment management, social enterprise investment is an area of particular interest to a growing number of our clients. This provides investment support to small businesses and other organisations with a clear ethical, social or environmental mission. To date, our clients have been key investors in sectors such as fair trade, microfinance, organic farming, renewable energy, sustainable property, social housing and sustainable transport.

While we seek a fair financial return from such investments, they are generally only appropriate for clients and trustees prepared to take on the additional risk inherent in such opportunities. For many social enterprise investors this increased risk is compensated for by the strong social returns.