Innovative Financing for Social Innovation

The reality of government is that there is never enough money. Competing interests, changing economic and political landscapes, and the sheer volume of philanthropic initiatives means that traditional funding is becoming obsolete.

From my academic experience studying politics, public administration, and public management, I know this to be true. And throughout my years of study, I have not yet found a solution to that nagging dilemma of doing what is right while also doing what is feasible.

But what if there was a way to do both? A way to financially support philanthropic initiatives without breaking the bank? A way to fund without relying solely on governmental support? And what if there was even a way to “do good while making good”?

These questions are starting to be answered with the emerging trend of impact investing.

And I would have to say that I learnt the most, in terms of factual, concrete knowledge, from our discussion with Adam Spence, CEO of SVX.

Let’s be honest, I still have questions about bonds, and especially about community bonds. I still don’t fully understand interest, and I simply have no idea whatsoever what blended financing is.

But the fact that there is a way to “do good while making good” is simply fantastic!

Chowdhury, S. (2014, February 17). Impact Investing: Big investment, little financial benefits, more social impact... “What, Why & How?” Business Fights Poverty. Retrieved from http://community.businessfightspoverty.org/profiles/blogs/impact-investing-big-investment-little-financial-benefits-more

Chowdhury, S. (2014, February 17). Impact Investing: Big investment, little financial benefits, more social impact… “What, Why & How?” Business Fights Poverty. Retrieved from http://community.businessfightspoverty.org/profiles/blogs/impact-investing-big-investment-little-financial-benefits-more

And it is incredibly relevant to my studies in public administration and my future career path. I can truly see myself potentially using impact investing as an Intrapreneur within the federal public service, trying to innovate from within. And Adam provided a whole set of social areas where this sort of financing has been applied: poverty reduction; carbon reduction; social housing units; and, energy efficiency.

More importantly, I personally think impact investing is an amazing way to realize sustainability and resilience in governance and philanthropy. These are two sub-categories, so to speak, that I can potentially see myself working with as well.

In other words, I drank the impact investing Kool-Aid!

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