Social impact investment is a way to channel private capital into companies, organisations or projects that are aimed at both a financial return and a measurable benefit to society.
The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment was founded in August 2015 as a successor to the earlier Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK presidency of the G8, whose remit was to “enhance well-being for human beings and the planet”. The work is being chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, known as the father of venture capital and impact investment.
“Like all members of the Executive Board, I was very impressed with the quality of your application and commend you and your colleagues for your remarkable efforts to advance impact investment in Finland”, Sir Ronald Cohen says.
The independent Steering Group promotes the creation of a global impact investment market. It drafts common points of view and recommendations, disseminates information and supports national markets in effecting change. The Steering Group brings to the same table prominent figures and leaders in the domains of finance, business and administration as well as policy-makers and heads of organisations. The other members, apart from Finland, are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA and the EU.
“Finland has received praise internationally for its systematic and practical approach to social impact investment. Membership will allow us to influence international developments in the field, but we will also learn from others,” says Pentti Pikkarainen, Chair of the Finnish National Social Impact Investment Steering Group and Director General at the Finnish Ministry of Finance.
The Finnish National Social Impact Investment Steering Group was set up by Sitra in December 2015, and representatives of investors, the public sector, various service providers and research institutes were invited to join. Its task is to support the deployment and development of new kinds of funding models in Finland.
Social impact investment is used worldwide to promote social, environmental and developmental objectives. Currently, the global market is worth around 120 billion euros.
One form of impact investing is the Social Impact Bond (SIB). With an SIB, institutional and private investors fund services that promote well-being and assume the attendant financial risks. The public sector only pays for verifiable results.
At its mid-term debate in April, the Finnish Government decided that it would include the Investment Impact SIB model in its toolkit and use it both to promote employment and prevent youth exclusion. At the start of June, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Integration SIB project was announced. It is the largest of its type in Europe and the world’s second largest. It aims to help 2,500 immigrants into employment over the next three years.
Sitra has brought Social Impact Investment to Finland and established a favourable operating environment there for the next three years or so.
Pentti Pikkarainen, Chair of the Finnish National Social Impact Investment Steering Group; Director General, Ministry of Finance, email@example.com
Mika Pyykkö, Secretary of the Finnish National Social Impact Investment Steering Group; Project Director, Impact investing, Sitra, tel. +358 294 618 259, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taru Keltanen, specialist, Communications and Public Affairs, Sitra, tel. +358 40 674 3246, email@example.com