Limited Impact: Questioning Impact Investment

Last week, the Net Impact chapter at UT’s McCombs School of Business hosted a summit on “Business for Good,” with one panel devoted to social impact investing. Social impact investing is any form of investment that has positive effects for the broader community. It is hard to state a more precise definition, because “impact investing” includes corporate foundation giving, government-led investment programs, and for-profit investing. I left the panel with considerable doubts about the capacity of impact investing to offer meaningful benefits for society. Its scale seems too small, its efforts too scattershot, its long-term viability too dubious. In...

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