Social Finance Round Up: IRIS Performance Data Report Released and More 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 September 5, 2011.

Last Week on

Shahzad Siddiqui posted Islamic Finance in a State of Flux

Karim Harji posted Money, Meaning and Much More at Socal Capital Markets 2011

Azim Panju posted Elements of Islamic Finance: Interest, Contracts, and Responsibility

Karim Harji posted Moving Beyond The Money: Addressing the Demand for Social Finance

Canadian and International News

The Global Impact Investing Network released the first Impact Reporting and Investing Standards (IRIS) Performance Data Report. Titled Data Drive: A Performance Analysis for the Impact Investing Industry, it presents early findings from 2,394 organizations – including 1,931 microfinance institutions and 463 mission-driven organizations – that work with leading impact investment intermediaries. Download the report here [PDF].

Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise has announced the launch of its fellows program in Environmental Finance and Impact Investing (EFII). The program, at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management in collaboration with the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA), aims to train Cornell graduate students for emerging opportunities at the intersection of sustainability, the environment, and finance.

Sixteen top social entrepreneur companies, vetted by leading accelerator firms, will give their corporate presentations to impact investors during the Entrepreneur Track at the fourth annual Social Capital Markets Conference.

The Hamilton Community Foundation has issued its first loan from the Community Investment Fund to Hamilton Artists Inc.

Camille Jensen reports that Adobe Capital is planning to launch a new $20 million impact investing fund in Mexico next year.

The private sector has invested more than $2.4 trillion in green companies and technologies since 2007, according to the latest figures released by Ethical Markets Media.

Tim Fernholz profiles the new legislation in California that seeks to introduce Benefit Corporations to the state in a move that may ‘signal the beginnings of a sea change in [our] expectations for the private sector’. Cynthia La Grou interviewed Jonathan Storper, the lead author of AB-361, the B Corp legislation at the Hub for SoCap.


Lucy Berhnolz reviews Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson’s new book, Impact Investing – Transforming How We Make Money While Making A Difference, praising it for its honest assessment of impact investing and calling it “the best overview of impact investing that exists”. For more insight into the book, read our exclusive interview of Antony Bugg-Levine and his own thoughts on the book.

Alice Korngold also profiles Antony Bugg-Levine and his new book, co-authored with Jed Emerson, in Fast Company.

Elmira Bayrasli previews Social Capital Markets 2011, featuring both social enterprises that are creating innovative solutions to social challenges as well as the impact investing community that is prepared to support them.

Sustainability and social responsibility are now embedded into mainstream business, but measuring social impact and accounting for negative impacts remains a challenge. How do you measure social performance, asks Oliver Balch.

Gary Stern presents a well-researched, thorough overview of impact investing as it stands today, with several examples used to illustrate the vibrancy of the movement, and barriers in the way.

Jigar Shah defines impact investing and contrasts it clearly with socially responsible investing, which it is commonly confused with.

Katie Hill says there are three reasons to be cheerful about the prospects of social investment in the UK: increasing demand for investment opportunities with social considerations, a new bank devised specifically to catalyze social investment, and most of all, a maturing demand side with more social enterprises and intermediaries than ever.

Peter Davis argues that there is a need for donors and the private sector to collaborate in delivering aid, offering some suggestions for improvement from the Overseas Development Institute.

Ben Powell observes that SoCap, a collection of sustainable capitalism optimists like none other, needs to reach a wider audience, where social entrepreneurship is not as readily accepted as it is in the impact investing world.

Rahim Kanani interviews Ron Cordes, co-founder of the Cordes Foundation, which utilizes social entrepreneurship and impact investing as tools for global poverty alleviation.

Clare Hunt profiles a number of early-stage impact investing funds in a blog post for Acumen Fund.

Pankaj Jain previews a session at SOCAP11, where Jenny Kassan, profiled, will provide a deeper perspective on legal issues surrounding social innovation in a panel entitled “The Democratization of Impact Investing: Breaking Down Barriers to People Powered Capital.”

Sonali Mehta-Rao interviewed Steven Godeke, an independent impact investment advisor, on impact investing as a strategy, the future of the space, and the relationship between impact investing and philanthropy.

Caroline Flammer highlights research that shows how investors and shareholders have become increasingly concerned about corporate social responsibility and that environmentally irresponsible behaviour is increasingly punished by the market. “CSR Pays for Itself – Here’s the Evidence.”

Jonathan Lewis profiles eight 2011 Opportunity Collaboration Delegates working to ‘solve property’ and ‘tap a new capital source to create sustainable, scalable solutions’.


Hub Venture Labs – The first incubator in Europe dedicated to supporting the most promising impact entrepreneurs with a world class series of programmes and workshops to make a radically better world.

Liquidnets Market Spectrum Map – partnering with SOCAP to examine the full spectrum of the Social Capital Market, to better understand what philanthropy and impact investing can learn from each other to build better marketsfor good.

Microplace – channels funding from individuals, over the Internet, into microfinance projects.

Upcoming Events

2011 ‘Active Europe’ conference
7 September 2011 – 8 September 2011, Krakow, Poland

SOCAP 11: At the Intersection of Money and Meaning
September 6-9, 2011, Ft. Mason Centre, San Francisco

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

Improving Lives through Investments & Ventures – Canadian Global Impact Investing Group
September 15, 2011, CSI Spadina, 215 Spadina Ave, Suite 120, Toronto

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

A Discussion with Jeffrey Liebman: Will Social Impact Bonds Leverage Proven Innovations?
September 23, One Canal Park, 3rd Floor, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA.

2011 Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia University
October 7, 2920 Broadway, Uris Hall, New York

ClearlySo Social Business Conference 2011
October 11, LSO St. Luke’s, 161 Old Street, London

Slow Money – 3rd National Gathering
October 12-14, 2011, San Francisco

Social Business and Microcredit Forum
October 17, 2011 – Georgia Tech Robert Ferst Center

International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy (FIESS) (Program)
October 17-20, 2011, Palais des congres, Montreal

Global Microcredit Summit 2011
November 14-17, 2011 – Valladolid, Spain

2011 European Venture Philanthropy Association Conference: Venture Philanthropy as a Catalyst for Societal Change
November 16-17, 2011, Turin, Italy

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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