Weekly Review June 6-10


Lately at ID, we’ve been talking a lot about impact investing and what it really means. Since SOCAP/Europe, the industry as a whole has been buzzing about the future development of impact investing and social entrepreneurship.  
The Kenya Social Investment Exchange is a newly launched platform for “brokering deals between entrepreneurs and foreign investors,” which is promising for Kenyan social enterprises. Social enterprises will be subject to a thorough analysis by KSIX before being presented to impact investors both domestically and internationally.  KSIX will focus on sustainable development and social infrastructure projects. The increased number of investors will inevitably result in an increased number of small- and medium-sized businesses, thereby allowing the Kenyan economy to grow.
The Impact Investing Track at SOCAP/Europe unanimously agreed that “impact investing is here to change the economic system and the world.” Impact investing uniquely has the power to account for long-term financial, social, and economic externalities. The panel also discussed several other issues regarding impact investing. Some say that impact investing should be considered its own asset class while others disagree. Regardless, panelists agreed that there are three major hurdles to impact investing becoming mainstream: “1) an economic way of measuring impact, 2) a regulatory environment accommodating long-term thinking, and 3) an adequate market infrastructure.”
The purpose of SOCAP is to unite investors and entrepreneurs at the intersection of money and meaning. It does not exist to redefine profit, or to foster the creation of new economic models; rather “it seeks to redirect the power and efficiency of market systems toward social impact.” The common desire amongst participants is to develop the social impact investment landscape and to create a common language to “unlock the capital required to scale the movement.” Egan points out that there is an apparent gap at the seed funding stage – Invested Development is one of few firms that invest only in seed stage companies. The impact investing industry is growing, and surely Invested Development will grow simultaneously.
A special congratulations to Femi Akinde and the team at SlimTrader, one of our portfolio companies, who were announced as one of this year’s TEDGlobal Fellows. Highly esteemed, TED is a non-profit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” SlimTrader has been handpicked as a innovative company with the power to change the world. SlimTrader will have the opportunity to share its work on an international stage.  
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