Social Finance Round Up: Socially Responsible Investing Gathers Momentum produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the week of June 27, 2011.

Last Week on

Olaf Weber posted Social Finance and Global Sustainable Development on June 21, 2011

Joanna Reynolds posted Following Up on the Recommendations for the Task Force on Social Finance on June 22, 2011

Nabeel Ahmed posted Video: How Do You Identify High-Impact Social Entrepreneurs? on June 24, 2011

Canadian and International News

Dough Watt noted two key learnings from the Canadian Responsible Investment Conference, writing about the opportunity to differentiate and mitigate risks through a focus on socially responsible investing.

The David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise in cooperation with Finance and Sustainability Initiative Montreal has created the Sustainable Investment Professional Certification Program (SIPC).

The state of New York passed historic on-bill financing legislation to dramatically expand the state’s new energy efficiency retrofitting program, Green Jobs/Green NY.

The White House convened an historic meeting on the Impact Economy, bringing together impact investors and policymakers (among others) to discuss how to transform the economic landscape. Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Impact Economy Initiative at the Aspen Institute, described the event as an ‘inflection point’ in the impact investing movement in his comprehensive review.

David Ainsworth reported that the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and the law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite have proposed a new regulatory framework for social finance aimed at making it easier to invest in voluntary sector organisations.

Esther Pak summarized a panel discussion on sustainable investing held at the 23rd Morningstar Conference in Chicago, defining and differentiating the field, as well as identifying opportunities and challenges.

Heather Esper put together a comprehensive recap of the ANDE Metrics from the Ground Up Conference in NextBillion, highlighting the advancement in the field.

The £5million Big Society Investment Fund was launched last week, and will invest funds from dormant bank accounts in England into social investment intermediaries while the Big Society Bank is being set up. Delivered by the BIG Fund, the Fund will help build a dynamic social investment market that provides robust financial products to better support frontline social sector organizations.

Ashoka, the world’s community of leading social entrepreneurs, and Staples, Inc. launched the fifth annual Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur (YSE) Competition during Ashoka’s Changemakers Week in Paris, France. This year, the global competition highlights youth-led organizations using innovation and technology to address social issues affecting their communities, and is part of Ashoka’s Youth Venture, an initiative that identifies and fosters young entrepreneurs all over the world who are creating positive change.

David Clarke presented a report in the Guardian from the National Audit Office that evaluated the right to request programme for the Department of Health in UK and found that it was too early to assess costs and benefits, reaffirming the importance of setting specific measurables for assessment purposes.

John Tozzi published Businessweek’s third annual round up of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs, with certified B corporations accounting for 9 of the highlighted firms.

Social Finance Learning and Best Practices

Jantzi-Sustainalytics profiled the Top 50 socially responsible corporations in Canada, firms that are making corporate social responsibility a key part of the business plan – and are entering the impact investing movement as well.

Mark Rosenman challenged the impact investing and social enterprise movement with a series of critiques, proposing that political will and public responsibility are necessary for common good, not profit-seeking.

Liz Davidson demolished myths about socially responsible investing in Forbes, providing data and resources to back up the claim that profit and ethics are not mutually exclusive.

Alan Patricof highlighted impact investing in developing economies in Fortune, as an alternative model for investing in SMEs and the next leap forward from microfinance, as it allows businesses to scale through equity.

Susan Moran published a starter guide on getting started as a social entrepreneur in the New York Times with very useful, practical advice.

Thomas Kostigen prodded Wall Street to wake up to impact investing, citing interest from high net-worth investors.

PhilanthropyUK published its Summer 2011 quarterly, focusing on social impact investment – download PDF here, or read the articles online.

In Triple Pundit, Matt Evans warned that impact investors may be getting primed before social-purpose businesses are ready for investment, highlighting the importance of early-stage financing to help create investment-ready social ventures.

Anil Patel reflected on the work of Tim Brodhead over the past decade, identifying themes that help people connect to causes they care about.

Kim Cook explored how nonprofits can achieve healthier balance sheets through accumulating operating surpluses.

Recent Discoveries


Fanisi Venture Capital Fund

Your Ethical Money

Charity SRI

Upcoming Events

2011 Social Purpose Enterprise Conference: Activating Our Community for Sustainable Change 
June 29, 2011, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Holiday Inn Toronto-Brampton Hotel & Conference Centre, 30 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, Ontario

Impact Investing Summit
September 20-21, Washington D.C.

Workshop: Call for Participation:”Socially Responsible Investment and Canadian Extractive Industries”
September 10-11, 2011, University of British Columbia (UBC)

BBAA National Awards & Investment Summit, British Business Angels Association
30 June 2011 – 1 July 2011, Chartered Accountants Hall, 1 Moorgate Place, London EC2


Calvert Foundation is looking for a Giving Fund Associate who seeks to use her/his education and experience to support the impact investment platform teams at Calvert Foundation and the separate but affiliated organization, ImpactAssets.

Did we miss any news, insights, or events? Use the comment form below to add to this round up. Photo credit:

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