Impact investing is changing the world, offering socially conscious investors opportunities to drive social and environmental change without sacrificing financial returns. It’s become common in sectors like renewable energy and education. But what about health care? It currently ranks seventh among sectors receiving the most capital from impact investors. That’s not high enough to kick-start momentum in the advancement of precision medicines that will save millions of lives.
But it won’t take much to change that.
Unlike charitable giving, impact investing provides individuals with the opportunity to achieve financial and social returns. Although impact investing is a relatively new strategy, its global market size is estimated to be $228 billion and growing, with 75 percent of investments generated from private investing strategies. Most importantly, impact investing makes good on its promises: A 2018 survey conducted by the Global Impact Investing Network found that the vast majority of impact investments met expectations for both impact and financial returns. There is a real opportunity to apply what has worked so well in other sectors to health care.
Impact investing can boost health care funding
Impact investors can choose from an array of sectors and causes. Yet the Global Impact Investing Network reports that just 5 percent of impact investments were dedicated to health care in 2018, well behind other areas like energy, microfinance, and housing. This may be due to a misguided belief that investments in life sciences are higher risk or require higher capital. Adjusting these assumptions with sage investment advice could boost health care impact investments and provide the funding needed for better treatments and cures.