Microfinance as impact investing: but what impact?

Impact investing is the new kid on the investment block. The term is brand new, but the practice it refers to already exists for quite some time. Microfinance, for that matter, can be seen as an established form of impact investing avant la lettre. It is assumed to make a positive contribution to societal change. Impact investing diferentiates from previous attempts to combine investments and social, environmental, cultural or other non-financial outcomes in two ways: it also attracts investments aimed at market-rate returns, and it attempts to measure impact in a systematic way.


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Prof. Dr Harry Hummels focused on the importance of impact measurement from the viewpoint of a forward-looking investor with a special attention to microfinance. He also commented on the future of microfinance as an impact investment branch.

Prof. Dr Harry Hummels is European Liaison of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Managing Director of SNS Impact Investing, the development investment arm of Dutch bank-insurer SNS REAAL. He is also a Professor of Ethics, Organisations, and Society at Maastricht University, with decades of experience in socially and environmentally-minded  finance and business academics.


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