Social Finance Round Up: New Reports, Competitions, and Funding in Impact Investing 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 October 17, 2011.

Recently on

Annie Malhotra published Webinar: How to Be An Impact Investor on October 18, 2011

Nabeel Ahmed published Video: Antony Bugg-Levine on Social Impact Bonds on October 14, 2011

Arthur Wood published Turbocharging the Social Impact Bond, Part 2 on October 13, 2011

Arthur Wood published Turbocharging the Social Impact Bond, Part 1 on October 12, 2011

Bree Gardner published Microfinance: Tackling the Tensions on October 7, 2011

Joyce Sou published What exactly is a B corporation on October 4, 2011

Michele Gartner published Beyond Microcredit – What’s Next? on October 4, 2011

Canadian and International News

California passed Bill 361, legislation to create two new classes of corporations : Benefit Corporations and Flexible Purpose Corporations. Kyle Westaway explains the difference between the two and the benefits on VentureBeat.

The Slow Money conference took place last week, designed to drive investment in sustainable agriculture and small food enterprises. A number of entrepreneurs from the food industry participated, profiled here on the seedstock blog. The Slow Money movement is closely tied to ‘locavesting’ and crowdfunding, as explained by Karen Klein here in Businessweek.

Social Venture Partners (SVP) announced the winners of its first annual Seattle Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP) competition, awarding investments to social enterprises and grants (from a fund worth $100,000) to nonprofits. 14 finalists gave five-minute pitch presentations to a panel of judges and a live audience of 650 participants at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion, aiming to be selected as the region’s most innovative non-profit or social for-profit ventures. Viva Farms, a nonprofit that supports organic farmers, walked away with three prizes, including the SVP Award for Social Innovation.

Alongside the fourth Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise, a Social Enterprise Angels competition is also being run to help social enterprises in Atlantic Canada raise financing. See conference schedule [PDF].

Social impact investment has the potential to evolve from being an emerging market to a very large, mature investment market attracting mainstream investors, according to Making Good in Social Impact Investment: Opportunities in an Emerging Asset Class, published by The Social Investment Business. Dr. Rupert Evenett, co-author of the report, claims that the social investment landscape is ‘at a watershed moment’ in the UK, and urges the financial sector to consider the opportunities. Jonathan Jenkins echoes him and adds that collaborative working and transparency will be more important than ever in the social investment arena. 

Forum For the Future, funded by Aviva Investors, released a new report titled Sustainable Economy in 2040: A Roadmap for Capital Markets. It shows investors how they can help create a resilient, stable and sustainable economy by investing wisely and using their power to shape the development of capital markets. Download here [PDF].

On behalf of The SROI International Network, SROI Canada is offering SROI Accreditation Training across the country in November 2011. The two-day trainings will be held in Toronto (Nov. 14 & 15),  Calgary (Nov. 17 & 18) and Edmonton (Nov.21 &22). More information.

EIRIS, the non-profit sustainable investment research firm, released figures showing that the amount of money invested in Britain’s green and ethical retail funds has reached a record high of £11.3Bn.

Santa Clara University has launched a Global Social Benefit Fellows program that provides a unique opportunity for 8 students to work with social entrepreneurs for a year.

Acevo, the Charity Finance Directors’ Group and New Philanthropy Capital have published a paper titled Principles of Good Impact Reporting and are seeking feedback from the sector. Take a look at the paper and email Tris Lumley with your feedback.

Big Society Capital (BSC) aims to bring in £3bn in social investment by 2015, according to its chief executive Nick O’Donohoe. He also said that BSC would insist on social impact and a multiplier effect from its investments, and was likely to invest in new social impact bond initiatives.

The UK Parliament recently featured an interesting discussion on social enterprise and how to foster its growth – the Hansard has it in its entirety. “If the country is to take advantage of what social enterprise can offer, it means putting the resources, advice and skills into commissioning bodies, whether it is health or social care or crime reduction, so that they can identify, design in and invest in social enterprise.”

The US Agency for International Development, along with six major partners from the field of impact investing, has announced an investment of $25m into small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa.

PR News has announced a call for entries for the 2011 CSR Awards, recognizing outstanding CSR efforts in corporations, agencies, and nonprofits.

Ethical Funds announced plans to formally engage with more than 60 companies worldwide in 2012 to encourage them to become better corporate citizens through the adoption of positive environmental, social and governance practices.


Mission Markets recently held a webinar on Foundations in Impact Investing; if you missed it, you can watch the recording on their website: Mission Markets Webinar: Foundations in Impact Investing.

Logan Yonavjak interviewed Mike Van Patton, founder and chairman of Mission Markets, on the future of the impact investment market and the role of exits in stimulating investor interest.

Social Finance UK had a webinar on an innovative social financing model, the Social Venture Capital Trust, which takes advantage of an existing tax incentive scheme in the UK to expand the pool of social investment capital. A recording of the webinar and a copy of the slide deck [PDF] are available.

Keith Richardson profiles the extraordinary success of social franchising – a form of cooperative development, with joint ownership, shared responsibility, and a social purpose.

If you thought microfinance was unique to the ‘developing world’, think again; the Economist reports that a growing number of low-income British households are turning to microfinance to avoid loan sharks.

Three ways investors fund social enterprises: convertible notes, preferred stock financing, and series seed financing.

Alex Goldmark explains the appeal of crowdfunding for social enterprise after the US government indicates support for the idea. Chris Hurtado and Bruce Campbell outline three risks to its growth, however.

Cosmas Butunyi reports from East Africa on the adoption of the GIIRS rating system.

Reporting from SXSW Eco, Heather Clancy notes 13 organizations that are disrupting the financial status quo, as highlighted by Scott Anderson (founder of the Green Skeptic). Anderson later expanded upon those thoughts in his own blog, highlighting ‘financial innovation that is conducive to sustaining economies – to value creation rather than value destruction, and that drives a new kind of prosperity.’

Alex Goldmark interviews Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson – for impact investing is not Wall Street as usual.

Andy Fyfe, from B Lab, talks about a movement that has inspired him and changed his views about the role of corporations.

Katherine Millgan of the Schwab Foundation writes about the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda 2011 and declares that ‘we must all become innovators in the global public interest.’

Betsy Brill, in the context of profiling a movement that unites financial investments and the positive social impact, examines the shift from philanthropy to responsible investing, and finally, impact investing.

Marian Gibbon identifies three events that signal the growth of responsible investing into the mainstream: the annual report of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the publication of a new report on the sustainable economy, and the launch of GIIRS.

Liam Black reflects on ten years of writing about social enterprise and wonders whether has anything really changed.

Rahim Kanani interviews Ben Thornley, director of InSight, the policy research and impact evaluation consulting practice at Pacific Community Ventures.

Kris Balderston describes the Investing with Impact Initiative, which is based out of the Office of the US Secretary of State.


Social Finance Opportunities for Calgary
October 27, 2011, Kahanoff Conference Centre, Room 201

Webinar: Social Impact Bonds and Rare Health Conditions
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM GMT

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

The Corporate and Community Social Responsibility Conference
November 15, 2011, Algonquin College, Ottawa

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

Enterprising Spirit: Creating Value and Social Good
November 17th, 2011, Delta Bow Valley Hotel, Calgary

The Fourth Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise (Schedule, PDF)
November 20-22, 2011, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sustainable Stock Exchange Global Dialogue
June 2, 2012, UN Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


{GIVE} Global Echo ETF, a broadly diversified actively managed ETF with a focus on Sustainable Investment themes.


Internship Opportunity: Social Finance UK is seeking outstanding individuals to complete a two-month internship in summer 2012.

Expert consultant needed: The Young Foundation and Social Finance are seeking an expert consultant to help support the development of model for a Social Impact Bond (SIB) to improve outcomes for some of the most entrenched rough sleepers in London.

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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