Universities are ramping up impact investing curriculums.
Education is a vital component to grow impact investing from a niche sector to mainstream financial practice. Universities across the United States are developing curricula to train the next generation of financial professionals in the increasingly popular field of social impact investing.
Harvard Business School’s new “Investing for Impact” course trains the next generation of finance professionals to be fluent in impact trends and strategies, regardless of whether or not they plan to devote their career to impact. The course features 20+ new case studies covering public and private markets; start-ups and incumbents; market-returns and concessionary approaches.
The Sorenson Impact Center at the David Eccles School (University of Utah) was designed to integrate a social impact focus into the curriculum. Their program sits at the intersection of entrepreneurship and social impact. It offers classes such as venture planning, entrepreneurial finance, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing.
Through Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), Wharton is advancing the research and evidence base of social impact. WSII provides students, faculty, and alumni resources to push the field forward through rigorous academic training and practice.
Other schools, such as Tufts (MIB program) and Boston University (MBA program), offer social impact as a specific study track within business programs. NYU takes a different approach by offering social impact, innovation, and investment (SI3) as a specialization within their MPA program. This track offers a variety of topics, such as “impact measurement and investment returns” and “policy, advocacy, & innovation.” Scott Taitel, Director of SI3 at NYU Wagner, introduced this specialization as a response to society’s need for innovative and sustainable solutions, as well as students’ eagerness to play an active role in growing the impact economy. He believes “the Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment specialization gives our students the unique opportunity to learn the rigors of best business practices, a path to effecting change through policy, and a framework for innovation to harness solutions with lasting social impact.”
To further foster this growing movement across campuses, Good Capital Project, in collaboration with Wharton Social Impact Initiative, is launching the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge. The Total Impact Portfolio Challenge is an annual competition to prepare future investment practitioners with necessary practical skills to integrate impact into investment analysis and reporting. This is an opportunity for all aspiring investment managers and advisors to get well-versed in impact. Applications open August 15.