In October 2018, I joined the Investing for Good team as a flexible intern. Since returning from Kenya, I had nurtured a curiosity in the field of impact investing and was eager to develop further understanding of the sector, alongside my studies at King’s College London. This blog is therefore a brief account of how the twinned experience of my MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and my experience at Investing for Good has sewn a deep interest in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and inclusive business.
Investing for Good is at the forefront of industry thought and development, and I enjoyed assisting on a range of projects. My principal responsibility at Investing for Good was to help build a Partnership Programme. By leveraging their FCA status, Investing for Good could offer appointed representative (AR) status to those companies and individuals who embedded social value in their business model. In addition to providing some practical business development experience, I had the perfect excuse to get to grips with the UK social impact ecosystem through market analysis.
The dynamism between my work at Investing for Good and my MSc studies was particularly satisfying and I began to notice a natural trend where one would influence the other. Using applied learning from my business strategy course, I could identify and build business models suitable for the BOP. I designed a social enterprise for rural honey in Ethiopia using a cross-subsidisation model and my appreciation for microfinance developed into an interest in inclusive and sustainable business. Investing for Good’s global perspective and ability to structure and advise on impact projects in developing countries may have also influenced my decision to undertake additional modules in African Development and to write a dissertation highlighting the importance of entrepreneurship development to state fragility.
Yet what I find particularly exciting, is the industry’s continued ability to converge established practices, such as philanthropy and commercial business, into a space which fosters social innovation. Blended finance is a powerful reminder of this synergy. By the strategic use of public development capital for the mobilisation of private commercial finance, blended finance improves the viability of SDG investments and improves the risk-return profile. It’s a catalytic instrument that I intend to explore further after my internship.
I have been extremely fortunate with my internship at Investing for Good. Not only have I been able to explore an industry which is exciting, tangible, human-centric and forward thinking; it has given me a fantastic platform to launch a career with meaning and impact (two highly illusive concepts for any graduate).