Boston, MA (PressExposure) July 21, 2011 -- A new study into impact investing carried out by researchers at Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society has been welcomed by Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA).
The alternative investment advocacy group - which particularly focuses on the benefits of impact investing to both investors and recipients - said the study was the first step towards establishing a new co-ordinated system for impact investment.
The study, entitled 'Coordinating Impact Capital - A New Approach to Investing in Small and Growing Businesses' looked at the profit expectations and investment methods used by 45 impact investors. It will be published officially on 26 July 2011.
AAA's analysis partner, Anthony Johnson, said the organization supports such studies as more needs to be done to make impact investing easier for people who are interested. Private equity investment is straightforward, however, for those investing in social enterprise start-ups, it is not as simple.
"Impact investing is a way of directing investors' cash into start-ups launched all over the world by social entrepreneurs. They are usually focused on solving global or region-specific social problems and can often turn a profit," Mr Johnson explained.
One of the study's authors, John Kohler, a former venture capitalist, said that the investment in such projects is often more 'horizontal'. Kohler stated, "Wouldn't it be great if, when a socially beneficial business received its first grant, it already knew where the next round would likely come from, and what benchmarks would be required to secure follow-on capital? Currently, it's all over the map."
The study resulted in some very interesting findings, most of which help to underline the viability of impact investing, claimed AAA. One finding was that almost all of the investors questioned said they would be interested in syndicated investment if there was more opportunity to do so.
It was also found that higher profits were expected among investors putting their money into global projects, rather than country-specific projects.
Mr Johnson stated, "The report shows that investors expect profit and would like the chance to operate in a similar way to private equity investors when embarking on impact investing projects.
"There is a growing number of ethical investment choices for individuals, such as forestry investment through firms like Greenwood Management in Brazil, as well as opportunities for institutional investors, such as major impact investing schemes operating on the global scale," he added.