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A New Kind of Impact Investment Spectrum: The Holistic Spectrum for Impact

This article really grabbed our attention, taking a different look at the Impact Investment Spectrum. Here we share an excerpt and link to the full story, which is quite an interesting read. 

On July 14th, 2017 a classroom full of private investors were about to learn for the very first time about impact investing in Mexico City. At the very beginning of the class they were asked what were their initial impressions of Impact Investments if any.

Impact Investing Spectrum by Sonen Capital

Impact Investing Spectrum by Sonen Capital

Unsurprisingly, most of them thought it was an asset class; the overwhelming majority thought the term referred exclusively to investment in social enterprises and more than half of them agreed that some return must be sacrificed for social and environmental impact. Two of them even said that almost any investment has intrinsically a positive social impact because it creates jobs and economic growth. I had just come back from the GSG meeting in Chicago the day before, so it is an understatement to say I was on fire to serve the impact cause.

What unfolded for them in the next 4 hours was as they described it “mind and soul-blowing”, but a definite climax point during the course was the Holistic Impact Investment Spectrum. It was clear, from the participants’ feedback and incessant discussions during the breaks and closure, that a paradigm-shift was in the making.

Even the detractors of impact (self identified anti-impact investors) sat closer to the front after seeing the Spectrum; it was a moment of “click” for the class. Those are the moments when looking back you can pinpoint what concepts had served the most to transform investors into impact.

Holistic Impact Investment Spectrum

Holistic Impact Investment Spectrum

SVX.MX has trained over 150 investors in Mexico, over the past 3 years on impact investing, partnering with AMEXCAP and Sonen Capital. We have learned to adapt the content of these trainings to make it as engaging and student-friendly as possible. In SVX México, we have realized this newly evolved spectrum serves as an inflection point of conversion in our trainings and it does not replace the traditional spectrum but enriches it and makes the “impact” values easier to understand and sink in for everyone. When we featured the concept in the Social Finance Forum in Toronto last year, the interest from different international organizations and individuals in the audience was overwhelming.

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You can read the rest of the article here by Laura Ortiz Montemayor