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This paper aims to develop an interpretative framework of the evolution of social impact investment (SII) in different countries. SII is a strategy of asset allocation…
This paper aims to develop an interpretative framework of the evolution of social impact investment (SII) in different countries. SII is a strategy of asset allocation, which combines financial profitability with a measurable social and environmental impact.
Through a thematic analysis of 75 documents, i.e. reports, experts’ considerations, reflections on practitioners’ experience, meetings’ minutes, written by the SII Taskforce of the Group of Eight and the relative National Advisory Boards, the authors identify the main themes connected to the topic of SII development and recognize four main elements useful to segment the market, namely, information asymmetry, financial instruments, source of capital and market intermediation.
They map the ongoing practices in the Group of Eight’s members and distinguish two speeds in the evolution of SII: on one hand, there is a group of roadrunners, which pave the way to SII and in which SII activities have being institutionalized; on the other hand, there is a wider group of chasers, where the SII infrastructures lack any systematization.
Although some authors provide preliminary interpretations of the SII evolution, they mainly focus on the national level and do not provide any cross-countries analysis. The findings of the present work contribute to overcome the lack of evidence characterizing the SII field and the absence of comparable and consistent data at the global level by filling the academic literature about SII, through a structured interpretative framework.
This paper aims to explore an adaptation of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program, which uses the Lean Startup methodology to help STEM…
This paper aims to explore an adaptation of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program, which uses the Lean Startup methodology to help STEM scientists commercialize their research. The adaptation, known as I-Corps for Social Impact (I-Corps SI), extends the for-profit canonical model to include mixed revenue and non-profit business models, to help researchers generate social impact.
A research team of policy and non-profit experts observed and adapted a canonical I-Corps process, then interviewed academics who are scaling and sustaining socially impactful solutions from their research, including past I-Corps participants, to validate research team learning.
The paper describes limitations of the I-Corps model and modifications required to enhance social impact.
While the field of social entrepreneurship has grown rapidly over the past few decades, social scientists have lagged behind in translating evidence-based research into solutions that can be scaled and sustained to achieve social impact. The paper presents an evidence-based case for a pedagogical tool to close this gap.
A focus on validated learning and business model development supports a paradigm shift within the social sciences, which can help spur greater social innovation from evidence-based research.
- National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps)
- Lean Startup methodology
- Social innovation
- Social impact
- Social entrepreneurship
- Validated learning
- Business model development
- Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
- Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
- Evidence Action
- Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health
- Crimson Hexagon