Impact investment: A primer

Globally, impact investment is gaining significant academic and practitioner interest because of its potential to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and more broadly, to systems change in capital flow and usage.

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This chapter, which will soon appear in the Handbook of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Research. De Gruyter, introduces a framework for conceptualising the state of impact investment in Southeast Asia and illustrates this framework with examples from the region.

While the chapter focuses on Southeast Asia, it covers the basics of impact investment to be useful to social entrepreneurs in other parts of the world who are just tipping their toes into impact investment. The chapter explicates the foundation of impact investment based on two main principles: “Do No Harm” and “Do Good”. It provides a conceptual framework for understanding impact investment as an ecosystem based on 1) dynamics with the private, public, and third sectors, 2) capital providers, managers, and recipients as main participants in the field, and 3) supporting organisations.