Over the past few decades, impact investment has emerged as a new approach to investing that considers not only financial returns but also social and environmental impact. This approach has taught us several important lessons that can help shape a better future for all of us since we started on this journey. We have been able to learn a few things interesting things as we are in the field.
Social and Environmental Impact is Essential
Impact investment has taught us that social and environmental impact is an essential consideration when making investments. It is no longer enough to focus only on financial returns. Investors now recognize that they have a responsibility to support companies that are making a positive impact on society and the environment.
This lesson has been particularly relevant since the team paid a visit to the Uganda Rural areas and the use of firewood as a primary energy source for these communities is the only available and affordable option, as we have seen the devastating effects of climate change, access to basic clean energy is the only way to change this, and other global challenges. Impact investment provides a way for investors to address these challenges and support companies that are working towards a more sustainable and equitable future.
Measuring Impact is Challenging
Impact investment has also taught us that measuring impact is challenging. It can be difficult to quantify the social and environmental benefits of an investment. Investors need to work with companies to establish clear metrics for measuring impact and regularly evaluate progress toward achieving these metrics.
This lesson highlights the importance of collaboration between investors and companies to ensure that impact is being measured accurately and consistently. It also emphasizes the need for transparency and accountability in reporting impact data.
Collaboration is Crucial
Impact investment has demonstrated that collaboration between investors, companies, and other stakeholders is crucial. By working together, investors can leverage their resources to create positive change and achieve shared goals.
This lesson emphasizes the importance of building strong partnerships and networks to achieve impact at scale. Collaboration can help investors identify new opportunities, share knowledge and resources, and build stronger relationships with the communities they serve. We have partnered with local Companies like Capital Savvy | Yo Uganda that know the people and culture of the communities we invest in which has become beneficial in understanding investment dynamics.
Patience is Required
Impact investment has also shown us that patience is required when investing for impact. Achieving social and environmental effects takes time, and investors need to be patient and committed to the long-term goals of their investments.
This lesson highlights the importance of taking a long-term view when investing for impact. It also emphasizes the need for investors to be patient and resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks. Impact investors must be willing to take the time to listen, observe, and engage with their investees to gain a deeper understanding of their cultural perspectives and contexts. This can involve building relationships with local communities, hiring local staff or advisors, and being open to feedback and constructive criticism.
Financial Returns Can Still be Achieved
Impact investment has shown us that financial returns can still be achieved while making a positive impact. Many impact investments have demonstrated that companies that prioritize social and environmental effects can also be profitable and financially sustainable.
This lesson highlights the potential for impact investment to deliver both financial returns and social and environmental impact. It also emphasizes the need for investors to consider a wide range of investment opportunities that align with their values and objectives.
Impact investment has taught us several important lessons that can help shape a better future for all of us. By prioritizing social and environmental impact, measuring impact accurately, collaborating effectively, being patient, and seeking financial returns, impact investors can drive positive change and create a more sustainable and equitable world.