Data & Intelligence

The Impact Investing Continuum: Inside the drivers and growth of the impact market

Ten years ago, the founders of what would become LeapFrog Investments took off across Europe, trying to sell the idea of a private equity fund out to change the world. At first the idea seemed “crazy” in the words of one of the founders. However, today, LeapFrog manages over US$1bn in assets and the trajectory of this firm—from its outsider origins to its current status as a respected global asset manager—runs parallel to that of the impact market itself.

In 2007, when the Rockefeller Foundation first coined the phrase “impact investing”, only a small group of pioneers gave much thought to investing to generate social and environmental impact alongside financial return. Today, the impact investing market has grown dramatically.

However, there is still a vast need for additional capital to tackle today’s social and environmental challenges. Providing the necessary level of investment involves, among other things, support and understanding of the capital continuum. This range includes investors who supply the flexible, risk-tolerant capital needed to lay the foundation for some impact investments, enabling them to test and pilot innovation before scaling. It also includes those who target market-rate returns, providing capital to scale more established impact vehicles.

To learn more about this continuum and the factors driving the growth of the impact investing market, download the EIU report here.