What good is impact investing? This question, raised in the Harvard Business Review in 2014, highlights increasing international interest in this booming responsible investment strategy. In SA, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special economic envoy on investment has also recently been paying particular attention to the opportunities impact investment provides. A national task force for impact investment was launched in October to direct capital towards underfinanced impact projects. Impact investing has been defined by some as an investment approach that intentionally seeks to create both a financial return and a positive impact that is actively measured. These dual goals can be achieved by investing in entities offering products and services ranging from microloans to affordable housing, renewable energy and sustainably grown crops. Given its scope, impact investing can be used to tackle a wide range of social and environmental challenges. However, some scholars claim definitional ambi...

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