SOCAP11 was the inspiration for last week’s Weekly Review and the conference is finally here. The Invested Development team has had good experiences at SOCAP in the past, including our first introduction to social entrepreneur Femi Akinde and his company, SlimTrader, now an ID portfolio company. This year we’re hoping to meet new entrepreneurs and learn about their exciting new technological solutions to poverty. We’ll also be contributing to the conversation; you’ll find Invested Development team members on three panels at SOCAP11.

SOCAP provides a unique opportunity to bring together social entrepreneurs and impact investors who have a similar mindset. Although we may work across different industries such as mobile technology, healthcare, water, sanitation, or clean energy, we share the same motive. Impact investing is a collaborative effort with a mission to inject capital where it can make a powerful difference in the lives of the undeserved. Events like SOCAP are helping to ensure it stays that way.

Connecting with investors and entrepreneurs is essential, but we attend SOCAP each year for many reasons. One important reason is contributing to thoughts and discussions surrounding the impact investing space. This year we have the privilege of participating in three panels, but there are other ways we can all keep the dialogue going year around. For example, the respected NextBillion blog recently published a conversation-stirring article entitled “The Dangerous Promise of Impact Investing.”  As a team, we felt obligated to contribute to the conversation and wrote a rebuttal, “The (Not So) Dangerous Promise of Impact Investing.” This was a healthy discussion designed to push the conversation surrounding impact investing forward.

We are grateful to the NextBillion for keeping the dialogue alive and look forward to other opportunities, beyond annual events like SOCAP, to continue debating the important issues in our field.