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Business as a force for good in the developing world

September 07, 2011

“There is growing optimism about business as a force for good in the developing world,” OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield writes in the current issue of Innovations. “A new momentum is building along with this around a breed of private investor that aims to solve social and environmental problems while making a financial return – impact investors.”

MIT Press, publisher of Innovations magazine, issued a special edition of the publication for the SOCAP Conference this week in San Francisco. Littlefield, who will speak on the topic of impact investing, notes in Innovations  that impact investing has transformed from what once was a practice of simply “excluding undesirable investments” to one that seeks “those rare investments whose very business model is geared toward having a positive impact on a social or environmental need.”

“The aim from the outset,” she notes, is “to hardwire positive social and environmental returns along with sufficient financial returns into their investments.”

Littlefield also outlines some of the bottom line successes of this newer form of impact investing: “At a time when the world population is climbing inexorably beyond 7 million, we are now on track to actually reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty by more than half.”

Read the full article here.


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