Impact investing: due diligence with a gender lens – or, Where the women and girls are

I’ve been working on investing with a women and girls focus for a long time.

And my husband has been working on his running for a long time. He’s an ultra marathoner – a good one. He’s both a natural, and he works at it. What do these things have to do with each other? It’s about practising, training, working at it.  And… personal bests.

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Routes into impact investing: why we must embrace different motivations

In the past few weeks, I have spent time in Africa and the UK working with entrepreneurs, charities, grantmakers and investors who want to make the world a better place. Something that is becoming clear to me is the need to talk about the different ways investors can be involved. When we are encouraging individuals who want to use their personal capital (as well as foundations using their endowment or their grantmaking pot), it is vital that we recognise that investors can (and should) have different roles to play. Only once we’re comfortable recognising the different motivations of different investors will we be able to really unlock the capital needed by the thousands of businesses doing good and doing well.

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Getting real on measurement: the role of the impact investor (ClearlySo)

It’s been well over a decade now that I’ve been investing in growing businesses – and charities – tackling ingrained social and environmental challenges. I have some truly exciting companies in my portfolio, some of which have grown significantly in the last couple of years. It’s an honour to be part of their journey, and I am glad to offer my skills and experience when they need it (and sometimes when they think they don’t). But as an impact investor, I am very aware of the risks we run when we ask the entrepreneurs for too much, too early; it’s time to get real about the practicalities of impact measurement.

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Nail it before you scale it - view from a seasoned impact investor

As an angel investor, most of my impact investments are focused on earlier stage ventures looking to grow and scale both their business and their impact. It’s truly exciting to be a part of an entrepreneur’s growth and watch a business grow every year in orders of magnitude. More than ever in terms of businesses focused on impact, however, investors have a responsibility in helping to guide that growth sustainably.

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An investor offers a challenge to wealth managers

I was at the Skoll World Forum last week, which was a huge celebration of “social entrepreneurship” – celebrating entrepreneurs solving social challenges around the world. I was there with my investor and funder hat on – meeting entrepreneurs, hearing the stories of other individual and institutional investors and looking forward to creating more change by collaborating in how we invest our capital.

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Angel investing for impact: moving beyond equity and debt (LinkedIn)

Anyone who has been to a talk by an impact investor, or met one who is really involved in the space, will recognise the passion and excitement in our voices when we talk about what we’re doing. We’re in the hugely privileged position of helping to build an early market for impact investing; as individuals using personal capital to create sustainable change, there is a thrill in it that goes well beyond the usual enthusiasm angels feel for investing in early-stage companies.

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Invest in Women's Human Rights (DailyWorth)

Let’s talk about urgent human rights issues for women and girls — violence against women, slavery and trafficking, and more. Trafficking isn’t just an issue far away: 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year.

What can you do? Maybe giving charitably or doing advocacy work comes to mind, but you can also make a difference through your investments and purchases.

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Why It's Cool to Invest in Girls (DailyWorth)

You often hear about “investing in women and girls,” with investing used as a synonym for supporting. Usually, the reference to investing means funding (or donating to) girls’ education, providing a student loan, or investing time or other resources to support girls. In most cases, it does not mean that a financial investment has been made into a company that directly and positively impacts girls. Moreover, it’s even less likely to mean investing into a female-run company. It’s incredibly rare to hear about an actual investment — one with an anticipated return of capital, plus an upside — in a company that positively affects or involves girls.

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The next step in your impact angel investment: screening potential companies (DailyWorth)

Now that you’ve decided you want to make an angel investment with positive social or environmental impacts and you’ve found some candidates for the investment, you need to screen them and select the right company for you. It might sound simple — just find a startup that’s doing some good, do some basic research into their company, and write a check — but in order to get what you want out of this investment, there’s more to consider.

Here are four things to think about when screening and selecting the best company for your impact angel investment