Financial vehicles that deliver social and environmental impact continue to be a growing area of interest for investors. To spur interest in this emerging field, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley are sponsoring the 2012 International Impact Investing Challenge. The challenge provides graduate students the opportunity to create high-performance, high-reward, high-impact investment strategies.
“Now in its second year, the International Impact Investing Challenge encourages students from graduate schools around the world to identify strategies that create solutions for global social issues – as well as deliver financial returns,” says Jamie Jones, associate director of the Social Enterprise at Kellogg (SEEK) program at the Kellogg School.
“Last year, student teams wowed us with their financial creativity, developing ideas to address issues like food supply in India, clean power for First Nations, and mobile technology in emerging markets, and so we’re excited to see the innovation that students will bring forth in the 2012 competition.”
Teams were invited to submit a prospectus by March 8. Ten finalist teams will present their proposals at a final event at the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco on April 13. The judging panel will be comprised of experienced officers and investors who currently manage family foundations, pension funds and university endowments, among others, and $15,000 in prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
“We have a real opportunity here to elevate and showcase the intersection of finance and social impact that is a primary area of study for many Haas students,” says Jo Mackness, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business (CRB) at Berkeley-Haas.
The International Impact Investing Challenge is sponsored by New World Ventures; Equilibrium Capital Group; The McCall Foundation; Forest Capital Partners, LLC; Impact Assets; the Carol & Larry Levy Social Entrepreneurship Lab; the Calvert Foundation; the Milken Institute; and Water Asset Management, LLC.
“We are proud to be part of a program that challenges business school students to apply their creativity and finance education to build investment strategies that deliver market returns and impact,” says Dave Chen, managing principal at Equilibrium Capital Group. “These student projects show us that returns and positive impact are simply good investing.”