Impact Hub Berlin alongside Social Impact Markets (a social investment advisory and project development firm) and a number of other partners announces the launch of the German capital’s first “investor bootcamp” for impact-oriented investment. The two-day program is part of a larger initiative dubbed Finance for Change aiming to make the nascent field of investing and financing for social change accessible to a wider audience in the D-A-CH Region and other European countries. In the near future, Impact Hub set out creating a community of practitioners to facilitate investment for financial and societal returns.
In Germany, impact-oriented investing is relatively new – taking the traditional field of venture capital investment and placing an importance on not just financial return on investment, but also on the societal impact the investment creates. While some action has been taken on a civic level, Finance for Change is working to bridge what Impact Hub Berlin Managing Director Leon Reiner calls the ‘pioneer gap.’ “There is a huge gap between the financing needs of social entrepreneurs and the resources they need from the finance community to make their ventures successful. This is mainly due to a mismatch in expectations between entrepreneurs and angel investors, funds, and foundations wanting to do impact-oriented investments.”
During the course of the two-day bootcamp, many of these issues will be addressed – laying the foundation for Germany’s premier community for impact-oriented investment.
The German market for sustainable investments has been growing at an annual rate of 28 percent since 2005. In 2011, the market constituted €63 billion (1.2% of the overall investment market). Estimated at €84 million, impact investing still makes up a tiny fraction of the market. Nevertheless, there is strong momentum; a growing number of German foundations are engaging in mission investing or are planning to do so in the near future. Social venture capital funds, such as BonVenture and Social Venture Fund, have emerged over the last decade, and a team based in Berlin is developing a social stock exchange (NExT SSE).