Impact Investing: A Brief History

14 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016

Date Written: December 2016


Over the last decade, impact investing has become an increasingly-discussed topic in the realms of both business and public policy. Impact investors are motived by a desire to advance social or environmental goals and an intuition that pursuing two goals at once - investment returns and social or environmental returns - is more effective than keeping them separate. This article reviews the recent history of impact investing, addresses some of the issues confounding the nascent field, and offers a few definitions that might bring more rigor and clarity to what remains, as yet, a simultaneously confusing and promising investment strategy.

Suggested Citation

Trelstad, Brian, Impact Investing: A Brief History (December 2016). Capitalism & Society, Vol. 11, Issue. 2, Article 4, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Brian Trelstad (Contact Author)

Bridges Ventures LLP

38 Seymour St
London, W1H 7BP
Great Britain

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