By Marta Maretich
The impact and sustainable investing market is crowded these days with big business, social entrepreneurs, private investors and governments all getting into the act. Yet recent research indicates that serious investors are still finding deal-sourcing a challenge. At the same time, intermediaries and entrepreneurs are still struggling to develop deals and find the right partners and collaborators to bring them to scale.
As Maximpact founder Tom Holland says in recent blog, “Despite the growth in the sector, many parts of it are still working in separate silos. Activity is up, more capital is invested, but the sector is still very fragmented. Many impact organizations don’t connect with the wider impact community or take advantage of the many possibilities it offers.”
As Holland points out, the disconnect between investors and investees—and the one that exists between those developing deals and the expert support and collaborative partners they need to succeed—is a persistent problem in the sector that may only be fully resolved with more market maturity. However, some infrastructure groups, like Holland’s own Maximpact, have been trying to tackle the problem head-on.
Maximpact Deals, for example, is an online community that aims to create a more sustainable future by fostering the growth of impact investing through sharing, collaborating and co-investing. Maximpact hosts this online listing platform, which allows entrepreneurs and intermediaries to showcase projects and ventures, giving them the opportunity to connect directly with partners and funders in the impact and sustainability industry.
The technology behind Maximpact Deals allows investors, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, intermediaries and philanthropists to engage directly with sustainable investment opportunities all over the world. A sophisticated search function allows users to pinpoint exactly the right investments and opportunities on the site and make immediate connections. Members can also use the platform to network and share resources with other members. And, because all registrants are approved and vetted by the Maximpact team, users can feel confident that they will interact with organizations whose values align with theirs. The site boasts 17 areas of focus, reflecting a wide range of causes and mission interests. Registrationis completely free, and there are no commission fees.
Since its launch in September 2012, Maximpact Deals has grown and evolved to facilitate high-impact collaborations with its open-collaboration model. Today it plays host to more than 500 individual deals of all sizes, offering over 1500 business opportunities. More than 350 financial institutions, including World Vision, LGT and Triodos Bank and many more, are active members.
As the sector continues to evolve, Maximpact is committed to evolving with it: In the fall of 2014, the group will be launching a new project development area that will make starting, organizing and developing new sustainability and impact projects easier than ever. Not only will users have access to collaborators all across the globe, but they will also be in touch with a diverse pool of experts that can provide the tools they need to effectively launch and develop new projects, organize virtual teams, attract finance, receive advice on any issue and connect with like-minded groups and individuals. At the same time Maximpact will also be offering marketing and media, finance and consulting services to those who seek support, assistance and advice in these areas.
Through Maximpact Deals and, soon, through a raft of new project development capabilities, Maximpact continues its work with an aim to foster a more sustainable future by accelerating the rate of impact and sustainable investing, expanding the industry’s impact overall and, through its media outreach, raising the profile and popularity of impact investing. With more of this kind of sector-building activity, it hopes to contribute to the growth of the whole social investing sector—and to facilitate the flow of more capital into businesses bringing needed solutions to planetary problems.
Image credit: andreyuu / 123RF Stock Photo
About the author: Marta Maretich writes about impact, sustainable and social investing for Maximpact.com, a deal listing portal and information hub for the new finance sector. She is Chief Editor of the Maximpact blog.@maximpactdotcom
About Maximpact: Maximpact is a free global portal for the social, impact and sustainability sectors. It operates as a secure web-based listing service that allows sustainability, philanthropy and CSR professionals, as well as entrepreneurs, intermediaries, and funds to share information about initiatives and impact investment deals, online. For more information on the platform or to review latest impact projects visit: www.maximpact.com. This article first appeared on Maximpact’s blog.