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A Guide to Social Impact Investing
Are you ready to rethink traditional investment strategies? Social impact investing could be the key to doing well, while also doing good. Wenjue Knutsen, adjunct associate professor at Smith School of Business, explains that social impact investing lets investors create positive change in the world, without compromising financial returns.

What differentiates this type of investing from other forms is that “social impact investing focuses on the intention. It’s an active pursuit of a social mission, so it’s a core activity,” Knutsen says. But that doesn’t mean the bottom line is forgotten, she adds. “Conventional investing has one bottom line, which is profit, and social impact investing has to have both a profit line and a social mission pursuit.”

In this video, Professor Knutsen unpacks social impact investing, shares who social impact investors are and explores the government’s role in developing the social finance market.
“People are very attracted to doing well by doing good,” she says, noting that some investors are even willing to accept below-market returns when the social impact is substantial.
Professor Knutsen also explains two major steps taken by the Canadian government to develop a social finance market, having introduced the “Investment Readiness Program” to help social purpose organizations prepare for external funding and contributing to social finance funds with the goal of leveraging this money.

“The goal of the government is to use $700 million to leverage $1,400 million. They want each dollar to leverage two dollars from the private market.”
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