Thursday, 10 February 2011
Social Enterprise & as new Impact Investment asset class, opportunities & challenges
I was at the last Social Enterprise and Investment
event at Cass business, with some top industry leaders, & most impressed especially when I heard a fellow passionate entrepreneur like Nigel Kershaw spoke from his heart & soul. (yes bit slow, am not great at blogging)
As most of my trusted & long term contacts knows, I feel very strongly about many things, but particularly social cohesion (& social capital) is lacking, both in the western and developing world, particularly due to the wealth gap(s) and in the western world benefit culture (why work? if got more benefits by NOT working).. therefore, I was keen to be there to learn what tricks Nigel had since we last met few years back and waiting to be inspired.
Indeed I was most impressed with what their aims/goals and achieved so far, and got top guys like Advent Int. Deutsche bank and PwC involved.. discussion were far & wide and of course some strange off topic questions, but all very informative, hope it was recorded.
Key reports which maybe of interest is the report onImpact Investments | J.P. Morgan
Where the author had since joined Bridge Community Ventures, who I would have wished was part of the panel to see what he really thinks now that he is not part of JP.
I am particularly keen to learn more of the impact investments return, as Ron mentioned their expected IRR for their normal investments would be 30%, but 10% for social enterprise but of course that is via monetary return, not including social impacts.. which in some ways should be focus of the social entreprise?
Can't figure it out yet, but interested to learn more. there seem to be many impact investing network, like http://www.thegiin.org.. which one should we follow?
Most important of all, we are not addressing one key issue, how do we 'change' people's behaviour and get them to 'engage' with social enterprise?? why would people be so keen to spend good money on buying celebrity's shoes and giving money to africa (where they have never been nor likely to go) but to help the guys down the street who are desperate, and one day might be forced to break into their fortress of a home?
somehow the value chain is broken and it need to be fixed. It is for sure not the best society for us to live in when the behaviour of the Channel 4 'documentary' call Shamless is the norm!??
Key challenge is that for those people that can help, the priority of engaging with social enterprise (or social investment/impact investment) just is not there. We need a cultural shift, this can only be done with transparency and understanding of goals of social investments and key performance indicators of social enterprises, not only on financial returns but also the impact such investment deliver... our world need help to improve social cohesion by more investments in social capital across all communities/regions worldwide.