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Good Capital Newsletter: New Money, New People, New Tools at SOCAP10 Part 4

Cameron Campbell September 10, 2010

Kevin Jones, Producer of SOCAP10 and founder of Good Capital talks about who is leading the impact investing movement, highlighting B Lab’s Global Impact Investing Ratings System.

Who’s leading the impact investing movement? b-corp1

GIIRS (Global Impact Investing Ratings System), a project of B Lab, will announce the names of the 12 North American GIIRS Pioneer funds. GIIRS Pioneer funds are leading private equity and venture capital funds with a focus on impact investing. The 12 North American GIIRS Pioneer funds join the 13 other Pioneer Funds which invest in the emerging markets that GIIRS previously announced at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April. The Emerging Market GIIRS Pioneer Funds include funds such as the Acumen Fund, E&Co, and Root Capital. Collectively, the 25 Pioneer GIIRS fund managers have $1.2b assets under management and have investments in over 44 countries. Good Capital is among the dozen domestic funds but the other names will be revealed at Socap.

GIIRS is a ratings agency that provides social and environmental performance ratings for companies and funds seeking to raise capital from impact investors. GIIRS Pioneer Funds will be the first funds to receive GIIRS Fund Ratings. A global population of GIIRS rated funds will give institutional investors for the first time the rigorous, comparable, third party metrics they need to channel more capital into the emerging asset class of impact investments.

To receive their ratings, each GIIRS Pioneer fund will ask the companies in its portfolio to complete a GIIRS Assessment. A GIIRS Assessment evaluates a company on its governance practices, how it treats its workers, how it affects its community & environment, and what the impact of its product and services are. GIIRS Pioneer Fund Ratings are based on a roll-up of the ratings of the companies in each funds’ portfolio.

The companies that the GIIRS Pioneer Funds have invested in are tackling some of our most challenging social and environmental problems including poverty, unemployment, lack of access to health care or clean water, and environmental degradation. Using market-based solutions these companies are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in industries extending from health care, to energy, to finance, to education. The GIIRS Pioneer funds, using a combination of debt and equity investments with a range of returns expectations, provide the required capital for their portfolio companies to scale their businesses and their social and environmental innovations.

GIIRS builds on the B Impact Ratings System, the ratings system that the nonprofit B Lab developed to certify B Corporations and which is being used by over 6,000 companies to date. GIIRS has raised start-up capital from Prudential, Deloitte, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Rockefeller Foundation.

-By Kevin Jones (Good Capital Newsletter)

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