Redefining the Meaning of Return
This paper contains a collection of eight short Impact Investing case studies. The papers are researched and written by the participants of our Master’s Level course on Impact Investing which took place in the Contextual Studies at the University of St. Gallen in the Spring Semester of 2016.
Investments aiming to generate a positive social and / or environmental impact as well as some financial return have become known as impact investments over recent years and have gained substantial momentum in both the finance and social entrepreneurship community. Impact investing can be viewed as occupying the space between traditional philanthropy and traditional investments. It differs from traditional investments, that aim to yield risk adjusted optimal returns, by introducing positive impact generation as a precondition to further considering an investment opportunity. On the other hand it differs from traditional philanthropic expenditure by having the expectation to generate some financial return.
In this course participants researched a suitable investment opportunity for an impact investor and then developed a structure for a fictitious investment. This investment structure was presented at length during the course and student teams also delivered short papers on their investment proposal which are compiled in this document.