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Impact Investment Firms
 
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A list of great impact investment firms, foundations, and investment groups

(Also see contact information for these and 20 other similar entities at our website www.cobap.org at the top of the library section)
 
  1. Actis Capital
Description: Actis is a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America. They deliver consistent, competitive returns, responsibly, through insights gained from trusted relationships, local knowledge and deep sector expertise.
Size of Firm: $10 billion
Annual Reports: https://www.act.is/media/2335/impactis-2019.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Renewable Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Affordable & Clean Energy
  • Decent Work & Economic Growth
  • Clean Water & Sanitation
Type of Firm: Private Equity Firm
Notes: Actis Capital focuses on industries with hard assets; they include real estate, digital industries, and energy sectors. 
 
  1. Acumen
Description: Acumen invests in early-stage companies whose products and services enable the poor to transform their lives. They also support their companies with tools, networks, technical assistance and strategic guidance needed to help them succeed and scale into long-term solutions to poverty.
Size of Firm: $151.9 million
Annual Reports: https://acumen.org/wp-content/uploads/2020-Acumen-Annual-Report.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Agriculture (24%)
  • Education & Workforce Development (24%)
  • Energy (30%)
  • Financial Inclusion (8%)
  • Health (7%)
  • Housing (3%)
  • Water & Sanitation (4%)
Type of Firm: Non-profit Impact Investment Fund
Notes: Acumen focuses on: investing in early stage companies that alleviate poverty; providing patient capital for early startups; and education through Acumen Academy.
 
  1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Description: Foundation works to spur innovations, strengthening global cooperation, creating market incentives, and generating high-quality data and evidence.
Size of Firm: $46.8 billion
Annual Reports: https://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/financials/annual-reports/annual-report-2019
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Global Development (34.95%)
  • Global Health (30.11%)
  • Global Growth & Opportunity (13.80%)
  • United States Program (10.70%)
  • Global Policy & Advocacy (10.45%)
Type of Firm: Foundation. (Although Gates Strategic Investment Fund acts as a private investor)
Notes: The foundation fills the gap between governments and businesses, brings together partnerships between various stakeholders, incentivizes markets through products, and generates high-quality data to understand what is effective.
 
  1. Blue Haven Initiative
Description: Blue Haven Initiative is an innovative family office dedicated to putting wealth to work for competitive returns and positive social and environmental change.
Size of Firm: $500 million
Annual Reports: http://www.bluehaveninitiative.com/portfolio/initiatives/
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Impact Investing
  • Human Capital
  • Catalytic Investments
  • Covid-19 Relief
  • Historical Grantees
Type of Firm: Family Office
Notes: One of the largest investment firms that has the main goal of impact investing.  The firm primarily invests in early stage companies that have both strong financial returns on investment and social impact. 
 
  1. BlueOrchard Finance
Description: BlueOrchard has invested $8 billion in over 90 emerging and frontier markets across Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa.
Our vision is to foster financial inclusion and shared prosperity worldwide.
Size of Firm: $8 billion
Annual Reports: https://www.blueorchard.com/wp-content/uploads/BlueOrchard-Impact_Report_2019-2020.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Inclusive Finance
  • Education Finance
  • Affordable Housing
  • Health
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Insurance
Type of Firm: For-profit Impact Investment Fund
Notes: A fund that focuses on microfinance debt and impact investment for communities and the environment, with a focus on returns for investors as well.
 
  1. Bridges Fund Management
Description: The main goal is to invest in lower middle-market U.S. growth companies that are helping to solve pressing social or environmental challenges.
Size of Firm: $1 billion
Annual Reports: https://www.bridgesfundmanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BFM-Annual-Review-Dec-2020-1.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Sustainable Planet
  • Healthcare (Mental & Physical Health)
  • Community Building
Type of Firm: Private Equity Firm
Notes: Invests in mid-market U.S. growth companies that are alleviating the effect of social and environmental challenges. 
 
  1. Credit Suisse
Description: Credit Suisse continues to contribute substantially to the development of this market, as well as integrates themes of broader societal trends into their other products and services.
Size of Firm: Depending on how you measure, many billions of US dollars
Annual Reports: https://www.credit-suisse.com/media/assets/corporate/docs/about-us/investor-relations/financial-disclosures/financial-reports/csg-crr-2019-en.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Affordable & Clean Energy
  • Decent Work & Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Cities & Communities
  • Climate Action
  • Life on Land
Type of Firm: Impact Investment Fund
Notes: Credit Suisse focuses on sustainable investing that has a positive economic and social impact, while incorporating ESG principals into investments.
 
  1. International Finance Corporation
Description: The IFC helps incubate new ideas, and allows proven solutions to be scaled up. They facilitate knowledge transfer and build business and institutional capacity through their investments.
Size of Firm: $11 billion
Annual Reports: https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/96e182ec-887a-4ee9-8071-c1a1681c40fb/IFC-AR20-Full-Report.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Financial Markets (52.1%)
  • Infrastructure (12.71%)
  • Agribusiness & Forestry (9.46%)
  • Funds (7.33%)
  • Health & Education (5.99%)
  • Manufacturing (5.96%)
  • Tourism, Retail & Property (5.7%)
  • Natural Resources (.56%)
  • Telecommunications & Information Technology (.19%)
Type of Firm: Development Finance Institution
Notes: IFC focuses on private sector development by providing financial and lending expertise.  They establish corporate targets and focus on developmental impact.
 
  1. LeapFrog Investments
Description: LeapFrog adheres to, and measures its performance against, the Sustainable Development Goals, working with portfolio companies and investors to build understanding and awareness and to ensure that they are playing their part in driving sustainable impact at global scale.
Size of Firm: $500 million
Annual Reports: https://leapfrogresults.com/
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Financial Tools
  • Healthcare
  • Female Empowerment
Type of Firm: Private Equity Firm
Notes: LeapFrog Investment is a private equity firm that invests in high-growth markets while providing expertise, with a special focus on the Africa and South and Southeast Asia regions.
 
  1. Omidyar Network
Description: Omidyar Network is a social change venture that works to bring about structural changes that will fundamentally shift the systems that govern our daily lives.
Size of Firm: $992 million
Annual Reports: https://omidyar.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Omidyar-Networks-First-10-Years-An-Impact-Analysis-1.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Flourish Ventures
  • Omidyar Network India
  • Spero Ventures
  • Imaginable Futures
  • Luminate
  • PLACE
Type of Firm: Philanthropic Investment Firm
Notes: Focuses on organizations that use market-based solutions to create social return.  They focus on entrepreneurs with high-level industry impact. 
 
  1. Open Society Foundation
Description: The Open Society Foundations form a global network of entities and programs committed to local knowledge and national expertise. The network includes national and regional foundations, as well as programs with regional or global reach, active in more than 120 countries, including hubs in Europe and the United States.
Size of Firm: $16.8 billion
Annual Reports: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/financials
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Early Childhood & Education (6.4%)
  • Economic Equity & Justice (1.2%)
  • Equality & Antidiscrimination (5.1%)
  • Health & Rights (7.3%)
  • Higher Education (1.6%)
  • Human Rights Movements & Institutions (13.9%)
  • Information & Digital Rights (14.2%)
  • Journalism (9.1%)
  • Justice Reform & the Rule of Law (9.5%)
  • Cross-Thematic (0.0%)
  • Reserves (1.3%)
  • Operations (3.8%)
Type of Firm: Foundation. (Although Soros Economic Development Fund acts as a private investor)
Notes: The primary goal of the foundation is to focus on economic justice projects and invest in causes that support workers rights, improve transparency, and oversee international finances. There have been some recent changes at Open Society that are not reflected in the their 2020 Budget.
 
  1. Rise Funds
Description: The Rise Funds seek to expand the reach of commercial capital in order to help a new generation of entrepreneurs build profitable businesses that deliver positive and sustainable impact.
Size of Firm: $2 billion
Annual Reports: https://therisefund.com/impact-report-highlights
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Agriculture & Food
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Technology
Type of Firm: Impact Investment Fund
Notes: Rise Funds invests in high-growth markets, while focusing on driving social and environmental impact through entrepreneurs.
 
  1. United Nations Capital Development Fund
Description: The goal of UNCDF is to empower millions of people by 2024 to use services daily that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to the SDGs. To achieve this vision UNCDF uses a market development approach and continuously seeks to address underlying market dysfunctions that exclude people living in the last mile.
Size of Firm: Their impact is made through supporting private finance institutions and governments
Annual Reports: https://www.uncdf.org/Download/AdminFileWithFilename?id=12103&cultureId=127&filename=102920-annual-report-onepageruncdf-pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Inclusive digital economies
    • Providing Digital Financial Solutions
    • Sales of Clean Energy Products
    • Digital Financial Products & Services
  • Local development finance
    • Climate Adaptation
    • Women's Economic Empowerment
    • Food Security
    • Health
    • Local Economic Development
  • SME investment finance
    • Food Security
    • Financial Inclusion
    • Women's Economic Empowerment
    • Clean Energy
Type of Firm: Development Impact Fund
Notes: The UNCDF focuses on developing local financial markets, creating a more equitable digital economy in frontier economies.
 
  1. Yunus Social Business
Description: Their primary goal is to utilize the tools developed in the business world to create financially self-sustaining companies dedicated to reducing poverty.
Size of Firm: $32 million
Annual Reports: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c2cc95ccc8fed340f66a526/t/5c2f76a970a6ad9936ec4331/1546614890139/Yunus+Social+Business+Impact+Report+2017.pdf
Breakdown of Investments:
  • Agriculture & Livelihoods (54% / 27 investments)
  • Education & Training (22% / 11 investments)
  • Energy & Environment (12% / 6 investments)
  • Health & Sanitation (12% / 6 investments)
Type of Firm: Charitable LLC
Notes: The YSB invests in organizations that have social missions, and reinvests profits into making long-term social impact.
Two Conferences Delayed
The 6th Annual Oxford Conference on Business and Poverty - Housing has been postponed until July 27-28, 2022, and the 7th Annual Oxford Conference on Business and Poverty - Employee Ownership has been put off with the possibility that this conference will be held on September 7-8, 2022.
Who we are and what we do...
The Center on Business and Poverty supports businesses that embody the business practices of participatory capitalism and create good jobs through partnerships with individuals, businesses, and non-profits.
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