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Impact Investing in Emerging Markets Post Conference Report

As official development assistance supports early stage SME growth in emerging markets and philanthropy largely supports the ‘social enterprise’ sector, impact investing has come to exist at the intersection of aid and investment. The appeal of impact investing in emerging markets continues to grow; however, challenges to address the ‘gap’ between early-stage grant funding and later-stage commercial investment still persist. The prevailing sentiment of many institutional investors, who cautiously avoid significant ‘impact investment’ allocations, contrasts that of aid agencies, philanthropists and foundations, many of whom are enthusiastic at the prospect of this investment approach.

The key question at the centre of the conference was: can Impact Investing in emerging markets successfully address social and environmental issues and achieve expected financial returns?