Case Foundation listed Wharton Social Impact and B Corporation as top 'impact investing influencers' - Generocity Philly

Funding

Dec. 29, 2016 7:42 am

Case Foundation listed Wharton Social Impact and B Corporation as top ‘impact investing influencers’

Two out of 50 ain't bad. Here's why Philly has a chance to better represent next year.

Big money was allocated in the region during July and August.

(Photo by Flickr user Incase, used under a Creative Commons license)

Philadelphia funders from both the private and philanthropic sectors have been pushing for the city to become a leader in impact investing, the venture capital strategy for funding for-profit businesses with a social mission.

That’s manifested in a few different ways:

  • There was the formation of ImpactPHL, a nonprofit formed by local impact investors including John Moore and Tom Balderston with a mission to rally more funders around strategy, this past summer.
  • The Philadelphia arm of national impact investing network Investors’ Circle, one of the strongest local branches in the country, appointed a new president in Annarie Lyles when Moore stepped down to chair ImpactPHL and advocate for the practice.
  • Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), a national leader in impact investing academia, saw the departure of senior director Jacob Gray. Gray made his return to the private sector and is rallying impact investments by way of Center City-based firm Threshold Group.

Philadelphia isn’t quite there yet. Foundations are still circling the for-profit funding method with great interest. Hopefully, with the groundwork laid in 2016, the city and region will begin to see an otherwise niche and complicated investment strategy break into the mainstream.

That doesn’t mean Philly’s impact investing intelligentsia are sitting silent.

The Case Foundation, a national leader in moving impact investing forward, published a list of its top 50 impact investing influencers on Twitter earlier this month. That list included WSII and B Corporation, the business certification awarded by Wayne-based nonprofit B Lab.

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Keep an eye on Philly’s impact investing movers and shakers in 2017 — they might not be on Twitter, but they’re pushing mission-driven investing into mainstream venture capital and philanthropy all the same.

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