Impact investing has a double bottom line. It is investment in for-profit businesses that also provide solutions to difficult social or environmental problems. It is an idea whose time has come as evidenced by a major $100 M fund called Benefit Chicago established by the McArthur Foundation, Chicago Community Trust and Calvert to provide support to selected social entrepreneurs.
Impact investment has been proven to be an effective approach that supplements publicly funded efforts with private investment capital. This often creates a more effective, elegant and sustainable solution to many social problems. This recent article in the journal Inside Philanthropy delves into the development of impact investing in the Chicago region.