Impact-First Investing Services
The Bridgespan Group supports impact-first investors who seek to be more catalytic or flexible as well as long-term in their pursuit of social and financial returns. Please visit Bridgespan Social Impact for more about how it works with leading global investors to successfully achieve both market-leading returns and social impact.
Impact investing has evolved from niche to mainstream over the past decade as investors validated the prospect of achieving market-rate returns alongside social or environmental good. Impact-first investing is returning as a critical frontier in impact-investing, emerging from the neglected middle ground between market-rate impact investing and philanthropic grants.
What is impact-first investing? Impact-first investing–a middle ground between market rate impact investments and philanthropic grants. This type of investing extends a financial lifeline to enterprises unattractive to conventional investors, and measures success by social and environmental benefit, not financial return.
Impact-first impact investing, also called “catalytic capital,” is well-suited for investors “who want to support enterprises or funds that have high-impact potential but struggle to raise suitable financing because they are too early-stage or otherwise risky, expect to generate only modest returns, or require a longer investment time horizon,” as explained the Catalytic Capital Consortium, a leading advocate (see Bridgespan’s full report here).
What LIIF Has to Say About Working With Bridgespan
"Bridgespan’s team was incredibly dedicated in their work to steer LIIF toward a practical impact framework, and to help us visualize how to balance impact risk and profitability considerations to enable LIIF to carry out its strategy to lead with impact in our lending."Eliisa Frazier, Director, Racial Equity & Impact Lending
Low Income Investment Fund
Frequently Asked Questions
Bridgespan Publications about Impact Investing
Our publications are prominently featured on news platforms that reach both the social sector and the for-profit sector. The breadth and depth of topics covered by our publications position us as thought leaders in the impact investing industry. For a more complete list, please visit our impact investing publications page.
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Industries Where We Have Worked
See our industry insights that draw from our due diligence work on more than 1,200 potential impact investments across the globe.
- Consumer Goods/Retail
- Financial Services
- Food and Agriculture
- Technology, Media, and Telecommunications