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Impact investments - Investing with a twofold incentive: A qualitative study of impact investors´ investment evaluation process
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study is within the field of impact investments. Impact investors relates to a twofold requirement of both financial return and positive impact from investments. The purpose of this study is to investigate how impact investors assess impact in their investment evaluation processes and how impact is aligned with the requirement on financial return. Literature have addressed the problem of assessing and quantifying impact, but it fails to tell us how impact is incorporated in the pre-investment evaluation of different investment opportunities. The field of impact investments is increasing in popularity among investors and through a qualitative study based on eight semi-structured interviews with impact investors in Sweden, we try to gain insight in how they address the twofold incentive of both financial return and impact.Our findings show that impact investors apply similar evaluation processes as mainstream venture capitalists with the additional assessment of social impact. We find that investors approach the impact assessment in different ways and that there are split views on the ability of measuring impact in the pre-investment phase. The task of combining the financial measurements with impact is found to be challenging due to the contradicting characteristics of the two, as well as the difficulty of measuring social impact. Often the impact aspect is integrated as a pre-investment evaluation “gate”, where a subjective assessment is central. We contribute to literature by addressing the identified research gap and we aim to contribute to social entrepreneurs’ understanding of how investors relate to impact in their investment decision making processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 44
Keywords [en]
Impact investment, Impact investor, Social finance, Social entrepreneurship, Venture capital, Social venture capital, Impact measurements, Investment decision making
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-388073OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-388073DiVA, id: diva2:1331475
Educational program
Master Programme in Entrepreneurship
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Available from: 2019-06-27 Created: 2019-06-26 Last updated: 2019-06-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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