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Impact Investing: How to Scale Impact Enterprises

In September, The Rockefeller Foundation announced a new project—Innovations in Accelerating Impact Enterpriseswhich aims to scale impact enterprises as a promising, sustainable means of addressing social issues affecting the poor or vulnerable.

Through the Foundation’s extensive engagement in the impact investing industry, support has been provided to investors deploying capital in pursuit of deliberate social and environmental goals, as well as financial return. While the sector’s gained traction and total impact capital has grown substantially, impact investors have observed that there are too few investable impact enterprises ready to absorb capital, and fewer still that have achieved meaningful scale.

At the inaugural Global Impact Investing Network Investor Forum, we hosted a panel with Monitor Deloitte where we presented the priority barriers in scaling for-impact enterprises, and also examples of innovative acceleration platforms currently operating within the space.

One key barrier to successful scale and impact is identifying viable partnerships where impact investors are matched with impact enterprises that can be scaled to achieve significant social impact. We’ve identified the role of Acceleration Models as an effective method of mitigating this “supply and demand” gap.

There’s growing interest and emerging research on how to build effective innovative platforms—such as accelerators—that catalyze the growth of impact enterprises, and The Rockefeller Foundation intends to turn this interest into action and evidence. Later this month, we’ll announce the winners of our challenge grant that will provide varying models for us to gather, examine, and test effective and innovative concepts that can lead to the successful scaling of impact enterprises.

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