Social investment, also known as impact investment or social impact investment, is defined as investments made into companies, organisations and funds with the primary intention of generating an environmental and/or social impact (for example, climate change or poverty alleviation) alongside a financial return - Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
Social impact investing and memberships
Succintly put: "social impact investing means considering risk, return and impact when making investment decisions, and choosing to invest in companies that are actively creating positive social or environmental impacts. It is a step further than divesting from negative impacts (for example, moving your investment portfolio away from fossil fuels or armament investments); it means using your money to consciously tackle society’s challenges – and to make a financial return" - Clare Jones, ClearlySo, February 2015.
The use of investors' capital can usually be distinguished by two main focus areas of social investor organisations such as Oikocredit:
- The first is intentionality: that deployment of investors' capital is made with a specific social and/or environmental aim in mind and is conducted and disseminated in such a way as to best achieve a positive social and/or environmental outcome.
- The second is that the investment’s social/environmental outcome is actively measured alongside its financial performance.
Both of these aspects are integral to Oikocredit's activities. We have placed a social mission at the heart of development finance for 40 years, making us one of the oldest social investor organisations in the world.